Lauren was the Commencement Speaker at Buffalo Seminary, her high school alma mater, on June 12th, 2012. Watch the video below.
Lauren was recently visited in Greenwich Village by Margaret Sullivan of The Buffalo News. Check out the article and see a short video clip here.
In 1999, Lauren felt honored, and humbled, when “City of Light” was chosen for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writer’s program. In 2011, again Lauren felt honored, and humbled, to serve as a judge for the Discover Awards in fiction. Read about the other judges and winners here.
The Washington Post has named A FIERCE RADIANCE to their list of Best Novels of 2010.
NPR has named A FIERCE RADIANCE one of the five best mysteries of the year.
INGRAM Reading Group Selections is featuring A FIERCE RADIANCE during March, 2011.
WONDERFUL PRAISE FOR “A FIERCE RADIANCE”
“Belfer is adept at writing historical fiction that sizzles.”
“Belfer [has a] keen sense of dramatic pacing and a gift for recreating historic times.”
Listen to Lauren discussing A FIERCE RADIANCE on NPR’s All Things Considered.
A FIERCE RADIANCE is an Editors’ Choice pick of The New York Times Sunday Book Review.
“Belfer’s first novel, “City of Light,” delineated the social and political tension of Buffalo, N.Y. at the beginning of the age of electricity. “A Fierce Radiance” is similarly ambitious, combining medical and military history with commercial rivalry, espionage and thwarted love. Belfer clearly knows her scientific material. She also knows how to turn esoteric information into an adventure story, and how to tell that story very well.”
“Belfer’s prose is heartbreaking, as are her twin themes of love and betrayal, both romantic and familial. A FIERCE RADIANCE resonates precisely because the characters Belfer creates, and the ones she borrows from history, feel real — as organic and natural as the molds from which these miracle drugs come.”
“A FIERCE RADIANCE mixes fact, fiction, romance, murder, and debates about who should profit from scientific innovation to create a capacious, … absorbing tale.”
“A FIERCE RADIANCE is a feast of storytelling wonders…”
“Lauren Belfer’s panoramic new novel is a love story wrapped around a spy story with a pivotal medical breakthrough at its center.”
Selected as one of “7 Books to Watch for in June 2010.”
Selected by IndieBound.org for the July 2010 Indie Next List
“Belfer is era-precise with an evenness that is an atmospheric feat.”
“It reads like a beach book, but has a lot more substance.”
“CITY OF LIGHT garnered great critical acclaim and many have been eagerly awaiting the publication of her second novel. A FIERCE RADIANCE does not disappoint.”
Selected as a “Summer Reading Suggestion” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“Lauren Belfer’s story of love in the time of penicillin is enthralling. A FIERCE RADIANCE shines with fascinating detail about a moment in American history we have mostly forgotten, when penicillin was new, miraculous, and in short supply. Belfer’s powerful portrayal of how people are changed in pursuit of a miracle makes this book an especially compelling read.”
— Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank
“It’s a fictional story set in New York during WWII. Belfer’s heroine, Claire, is a photojournalist for Life magazine. She’s assigned to cover the testing of a potentially life-saving (and war-winning) new drug, penicillin. The story . . . . drew me in immediately. Soon, by virtue of the fictional tale, I absorbed all kinds of details about the struggle between the government, anxious to get penicillin to the front lines, and the pharmaceutical companies, bound and determined to make a profit, if not off penicillin, then off the “cousins,” or related antibiotics discovered in dirt and mold. It’s a fascinating story.”
— Blog of the Nation/Talk of the Nation/NPR.org
“[Belfer] delivers a character who will resonate with her readers: the charismatic Claire Shipley, a beautiful and talented photo-journalist for Life magazine during World War II. . . .. A FIERCE RADIANCE is a thriller, a love story, a family saga, and a portrait of war-time New York. It depicts the tumultuous early days of World War II, when many feared that America would lose the war and they clung fiercely to their loved ones, because no one could predict what tomorrow would bring. It was a very different lifetime in America and Belfer offers a glimpse into it, a way of life that fewer and fewer of us experienced.”
“ . . . A must read . . . A Fierce Radiance is a beautifully written epic thriller about the race by Big Pharma to mass produce penicillin during World War II. . . . A Fierce Radiance is a big read, not because of its length, but because of its power. It has all the elements of a great read: love, intrigue, and beautiful prose. It will transport you to wartime New York and throw you into the desperate search for a desperately needed medicine. And once you finish reading it for plot, its beautiful images will linger.”
“When people talk about the Great American Novel…this is it! It has everything a reader could possibly ask for – intriguing characters, intense drama, interesting plot, a heavy dose of reality, an epic love story and it’s all bound together with Lauren Belfer’s brilliant writing.”
“A Fierce Radiance crosses genres as a historical novel, a love story, a crime thriller, and a murder mystery. It captured my attention from the very beginning and held it throughout.”
“Belfer richly develops each character of A FIERCE RADIANCE with intricate personalities and quirks…Scenes of New York City are richly and fully embroidered with details that enable the reader to feel and visualize the nation and the people fearful of war, German attack, and personal loss. In reading this novel I felt a part of the hope and dismay of these times that my parents lived through and described to me….Oh, read A FIERCE RADIANCE…it is fascinating and compelling.”
“Have you ever read a book and loved it so much that you wanted to share it with everyone? …Maybe I should just wrap up my review with two words, READ IT!”
“Belfer’s greatest gift as a writer and storyteller is her ability to balance the harsher elements of her story with the lighter moments.”
“With an exquisite artist’s eye for detail that puts readers right in the middle of New York City and the World War II fronts and incorporating all the elements of a hot, sprawling, page-turning romance-not to mention espionage, murder, crime-scene deceptions, big business intrigue, and family estrangements-Belfer (City of Light ) once again blends fiction and facts with riveting results.”
— Library Journal, *Starred Review*
“Belfer combines life-and-death scenarios, romance, murder, and wartime reality at home and abroad, while taking a stab at industrialists who profit by dubious means and salve their consciences through philanthropy; and she warns that resistance to antibiotics could return us “to the era when otherwise healthy adults died from a scratch on the knee.” An engrossing and ambitious novel that vividly portrays a critical time in American history.”
— Booklist, *Starred Review*
“This fulsome tale of a modern marvel, and what life was like before it became ubiquitous, crackles with twists and turns . .. . It’s also a beautiful valentine to 1940s New York City and its neighborhoods, painted with great affection. . . .A Fierce Radiance’s life, humanity, and crack mystery was worth the wait. Highly recommended.”
— Historical Novels Review, Editor’s Choice Review
Listen to a radio interview with Lauren on WBFO 88.7
Listen to a radio interview with Lauren on WAMC 90.3
Read Lauren’s Guest Blog appearance on Reading Group Guides.com
Read an interview with Lauren in Buffalo Spree, The Magazine of Western New York
Read an interview with Lauren from the blog Laura’s Reviews
Read an article by Lauren in The Buffalo News about the city where she grew up and how it’s changed.
See Lauren in the PBS documentary Elbert Hubbard: An American Original here.
Lauren appears in the sections “East Aurora, New York,” “Hubbard’s Rise,” and “The American Dream.” Watch the entire documentary online here.