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The Radiant City Paperback – Apr 6 2006


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The Radiant City + The Stubborn Season + Our Daily Bread
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Canada (April 6 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006393470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006393474
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.1 x 20.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"First rate.... Compelling, sociologically informed, dark in its subject matter yet illuminating in its insight.... Left us craving more." (The Gazette (Montreal))

About the Author

LAUREN B. DAVIS is the author of the bestselling andcritically acclaimed novel The Stubborn Season, The Radiant City, and the upcoming novel, Our Daily Bread, as well as acollection of short stories, Rat Medicine & Other Unlikely Curatives.Born in Montreal, Davis lived in France for 10 years. She now lives inPrinceton, New Jersey.


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Weisfeld on May 30 2005
Format: Hardcover
How much pain and tragedy can one person absorb? How do such experiences change us? This is the riveting story of a war correspondent who has seen recent history up close and way too personal, his friends who have dealt with their own measure of violence, and an exiled Lebanese family he befriends. These are people whose personal suffering forces them to grapple with responsibility in new and different ways. Set in Paris, where the author has lived, and whose neighborhoods and changing immigrant face are vividly portrayed, the novel is finely written. Some passages, even when they are describing impossibly difficult issues, are extraordinary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AnniLorri on July 22 2007
Format: Paperback
I've just finished The Radiant City and feel almost bereft. I hated to leave the characters in the story, so many of whom I had come to deeply care for. The book is brilliant - exquisitely written, metaphorically stunning and so rich in detail and philosophy that words fail me when it comes to describing the intensity of my reading experience with it. The book hangs on a terrific story but at the same time is a meditation on cultural and class relations, family dynamics, friendship, good and evil and that tricky blurred area in between those extremes. It also explores how so many of us are wounded at the core and the way that past trauma somehow always lives in the present despite our best efforts to move on. The characters in the story are deeply drawn and the descriptions of Paris are lush with contrasts. The author puts you right into each scene and you can see, taste, hear and smell the Paris of this story and the people in it as you might while watching a beautifully made film or having a very vivid dream. Highly recommended for anyone who likes a great story that also makes you think.

Ann Fischer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RJ on June 2 2010
Format: Paperback
Although the POV, (3rd person present tense), was startling at first, Davis's easy style and the story's beautiful language draws this reader in effortlessly. Soon the unfamiliar POV was an afterthought and I was swept away on a poignant and gripping tale about Matthew Bowles, an ex-war correspondent who escapes to the streets of Paris, the Radiant City, hoping to do nothing more than to lose himself and his painful memories. He's agreed to write a book about his experience in war torn countries around the world but struggles, as each page brings the memories and trauma of those years flooding back to him.

Matthew meets Saida, a Lebanese woman who runs a café near Matthew's apartment, along with her son, Joseph, and her father and brother, Elias and Ramzi. Saida has survived horrific events as well and seeks to find that safe place she used to know within her family's loving embrace. But her family is pulling away from her and she is as lost as Matthew in many ways.

This is only a brief and very vague description of Radiant City, within the pages Davis creates a world that we all have visited, although perhaps not as literally as Matthew and Saida. But that darkness, that place of hopelessness and hope, is a place many writers glimpse from time to time. A place that the wise writer embraces. Davis embraced it and then some.

There are parts that speak directly to the reader, forcing you to look inside yourself, to remember thoughts and feelings long forgotten. Many bring tears to your eyes, one brought a little chuckle, as I remember doing and feeling something very similar as a child:

"He puts the book down with a stab of regret, as he sometimes does with inanimate objects.
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