KRCU Public Radio for Southeast Missouri says, “If you’re looking for a novel about complex relationships and historical research, then you must read ASHTON HALL by Lauren Belfer.”
Lauren was excited to speak with Christen Civiletto & Chris Storm of the Bookstorm Podcast. Their questions were insightful and thought-provoking.
ASHTON HALL is a finalist in three categories of the Zibby Awards: Best Author Note; Best Editor, for the marvelous and brilliant Susanna Porter; and Best Agent, for the equally marvelous and brilliant Margaret Sutherland Brown. Thank you to the Zibby Awards!
ASHTON HALL received a terrific review from the Jewish Book Council, including the line, “Belfer’s writing is gorgeous …”
Lian Dolan and the Satellite Sisters Podcast named ASHTON HALL their Book of the Week.
ASHTON HALL is on BiblioLifestyle’s list of Most Anticipated Summer 2022 Historical Fiction Books.
Lauren had a fascinating conversation with Yona Zeldis McDonough, novelist and fiction Editor of Lilith Magazine, on the Lilith blog
Satellite Sister podcaster and novelist Lian Dolan recommended ASHTON HALL on the Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Podcast with Zibby Owens (At 22:55)
Pamela Klinger-Horn discussed ASHTON HALL, one of her favorite Summer Reads of 2022, on the Thoughts From a Page podcast. (The section on ASHTON HALL is at approximately 23:20.)
Lauren spoke with Mike Desmond of WBFO/NPR Buffalo, in this extended interview.
Lauren had fun talking with Scott Richards for the Book Club podcast of EASY 105.9 of Myrtle Beach, SC
Lauren enjoyed a Q&A with writer and book blogger Deborah Kalb.
Erik Brady profiled Lauren in The Buffalo News.
Lauren enjoyed a terrific conversation with Lara and Phoebe of the podcast Tudor Talk Time.
And After The Fire received a 2016 National Jewish Book Award.
And After The Fire was selected for the 2017-2018 National Jewish Book Club.
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has named A Fierce Radiance to its list of “Twelve Essential Reads About Greenwich Village and the East Village.”
Lauren joined Leslie Zemsky of Buffalo’s Larkin Square for a virtual book event to discuss her second novel A Fierce Radiance and the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Lauren was interviewed by The Buffalo News about her creative process. She was honored to find herself in the company of so many Buffalo-raised writers.
Lauren was thrilled to speak with Lilith Magazine’s fiction editor, Yona Zeldis McDonough, about And After The Fire. Ms. McDonough called the novel a “highly original and haunting story.”
Marissa Stern of the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia called And After The Fire “stunning.”
Lauren was thrilled to talk Bach, the working process, and writing a novel with musical accuracy in The New York Times.
The New Yorker called And After The Fire “provocative.”
And After The Fire was included in USA Today’s “Weekend Picks for Book Lovers.”
Thanks to book blogger Sherrey Meyer for her endorsement of And After The Fire.
The Jewish Book Council called And After The Fire “eloquently and elegantly written” and said that “it is not a novel one will put down easily.”
The New York Journal of Books gave And After The Fire a rave review, and said it “will delight readers of historical fiction.”
Jeff Grim wrote a lovely blog post about And After The Fire, calling the novel “a wonderful look at Enlightenment and Romantic-era Berlin.”
Dewette Decimal Reads wrote a rave review of And After The Fire on its book blog, calling the story “riveting.”
Lauren was delighted to speak with C.P. Lesley and the New Books Network about And After The Fire.
The Washington Independent Review of Books called And After The Fire a “rich tale of love, morality, and a lost cantata.”
The Library Journal gave And After The Fire a starred review, calling it a “spellbinding tale pondering important questions.”
Lauren shared a playlist of Bach music from her novel And After The Fire with Largehearted Boy.
Lauren discussed traveling to Berlin while writing And After The Fire on the Book Club Girl blog.
Lauren was honored to write a guest post for the Listening to Bach in Bethlehem blog.
The Historical Novel Society highly recommended And After The Fire.
The Romantic Times called And After The Fire a “fascinating, compelling read.”
BookLoon called And After The Fire an “outstanding historical novel.”
BookSpin called And After The Fire a narrative that “resonates with emotion and immediacy”
The Buffalo News spoke with Lauren about her new novel, And After the Fire, available on May 3.
Lauren was recently back in Buffalo for a reading and caught up with The Buffalo News about “never giving up.” Read another feature from their archives about how Buffalo has changed since she grew up there.
Lauren is honored that A Fierce Radiance was included in the Goodreads posting, “20 Moments that Changed History: A Reading List.”
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.”
— The Washington Post
“Belfer [has a] keen sense of dramatic pacing and a gift for recreating historic times.”
— The Daily Beast
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.”
— The New York Times Sunday Book Review
“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.”
— USA Today
“A FIERCE RADIANCE mixes fact, fiction, romance, murder, and debates about who should profit from scientific innovation to create a capacious, … absorbing tale.”
— Barnes & Noble Review
“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.”
— O, the Oprah Magazine
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.”
— The Wichita Eagle
“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.”
— Buffalo Rising
Selected as a “Summer Reading Suggestion” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
— 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 Writer’s Edge
“ . . . 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.”
— Alison’s Book Marks
“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.”
— Backseat Writer
“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!”
— Booking Mama
“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.