Telling the Truth About Content

April 2014

Author Interview: Ishmael Beah

April 25, 2014Erin Cosyn 0

Earlier this week, I reviewed Ishmael Beah’s new novel Radiance of Tomorrow. Cuyahoga County Public Library invited Beah to be the inaugural speaker for the new auditorium in their remodeled Parma branch, and I was fortunate enough to have a chance to spend a few minutes with him prior to his lecture. He is soft-spoken and poised, with a gentleness to him that makes it hard to imagine him raising his voice. He has an easy, infectious smile, and he is generous with sharing his thoughts.

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Book Review: Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah

April 22, 2014Erin Cosyn 0

Ishmael Beah first reached fame with the 2007 publication of his memoir A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, in which he recounted his time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war. Despite the success of that book, Beah wanted to address a question that he didn’t think anyone was asking: what happens after the war? What lives await people upon their return home? Beah now brings us his unique perspective and warmth for humanity in his debut novel Radiance of Tomorrow, in which we see the interwoven narratives of numerous characters attempting to return home after the war has ended. In it, Beah explores themes of home and place, of tradition and history, and power and powerlessness. Through the overlapping threads of different characters’ stories we see the struggles of returning to normalcy from both the victims and the former perpetrators of the nation’s violence as they now attempt to rebuild their lives as neighbors.

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