By Lauren Belfer
Washington submit Best Novel of the Year
An NPR top secret of the Year
“An engrossing and bold novel that vividly portrays a serious time in American history.” — Booklist (starred assessment)
“Enthralling. A Fierce Radiance shines with attention-grabbing detail.... Belfer’s robust portrayal of ways individuals are replaced in pursuit of a miracle makes this e-book an extremely compelling read.” — Nancy Horan, writer of Loving Frank
Set throughout the doubtful early days of worldwide conflict II, this suspenseful tale from the New York Times bestselling writer of City of Light follows the paintings of photojournalist Claire Shipley as she captures America’s race to strengthen life-saving antibiotics—an task that might contain blackmail, espionage, and homicide.
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Additional resources for A Fierce Radiance
Rivers turned gracious. He took Claire’s hand and patted it, holding it a second too long. His skin was puffy. She suppressed the inclination to pull her hand away. “Honored to meet you. ” “Thank you,” she replied, grateful for the recognition. If his admiration made the assignment easier, so much the better. ” He was referring to the magazine’s editor, Henry Luce. “You have everything you need, Miss Shipley? Mrs. ” He had the soft trace of a southern accent and a cultivated southern charm. ” Claire continued to use her married name, both because she’d made her reputation with it and because it felt like a protection for her son.
His eyes were open but unfocused, like the glass eyes in a box at a doll factory she’d once photographed. Although his hair was full and dark brown, not gray, Claire pegged him at over eighty. His head swayed from side to side as the orderlies slid the stretcher out of the ambulance and onto the gurney. Beneath the once-white blanket, his right leg was grotesquely swollen. Making a split-second appraisal of the scene, guided by intuition, Claire crouched and pivoted until she found the best angle.
When Claire’s mother, Anna, was dying of cancer through increasingly tortured months, her doctors refused to share any information. The physician in charge didn’t even want Anna to know that she had cancer. Anna demanded the truth, in a conversation that quickly turned hostile. The physicians’ creed seemed to be that the fewer facts patients and their families knew about an illness, the better for everyone, especially the doctors. Physicians justified their approach by claiming that patients and their families lost hope when they knew the truth.