A dual biography of the turn-of-the-century friendship between two groundbreaking women: scientist Marie Curie and Loie Fuller, an American performance artist who dreamed of using Curie's insights into radium to create dazzling stage productions.
... Heinecke has captured their lives, their times, and their friendship in a beautifully crafted work of creative nonfiction as gripping as any novel of Belle Epoch Paris ... In sharing their stories, Liz Heinecke has shined a light on two remarkable women whose work and friendship was a gift to each other and to the world.
... [an] imaginative and immersive dual biography ... [a] spirit of joy illuminates Radiant ... a true account that reads as fluidly as a novel ... Her evocation of Paris feels lush and lively ... Through her affectionate depiction of these women and their milieu, Heinecke allows their spirits 'to keep shining on with a faint but steady light, inspiring us to dream bigger, work harder and reach higher'; skillfully, seamlessly, she lets their friendship and feminism blaze again in the 21st.
Heinecke, previously an author of science books for kids, draws on her art and science degrees in this vividly elucidating and enthralling double portrait which reads like a biographical novel rather than a dual biography as she boldly imagines the thoughts and feelings of her two magnetic subjects and invents dialogue. Some readers may object to these creative-nonfiction techniques, but extensive bibliographic notes attest to the factual foundation supporting this irresistible, dramatic, many-faceted, and, yes, illuminating tale of two extraordinary geniuses and their friendship. Heinecke’s fresh take on Curie is welcome, and her portrayal of the too-little-known Fuller is revelatory.