Free Radicals


Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Nancy Paulsen Books
Publish Date
5.85 X 8.49 X 1.37 inches | 1.07 pounds

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About the Author

The daughter of Afghan and Australian immigrants, Lila Riesen was raised in the United States. Her undergraduate studies in English were completed at Indiana University and the Australian National University. In 2017, Lila graduated with a master's degree in English literature and linguistics from the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Free Radicals is her first novel, inspired by her cashew-coveting baba and all the Afghans fighting for peace, in the US and abroad.


Praise for Free Radicals

"Riesen's debut is a rich, multifaceted story that . . . interweaves racism and discrimination, immigration and injustice, sexism and double standards, family expectations and intergenerational trauma, and more, all written to great effect and with a broadly diverse supporting cast. A smart, powerful, poignant tale of identity, freedom, and family." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

""By deploying a healthy dose of sharp humor across a pacey plot that's populated by an intersectionally diverse cast, Riesen crafts an emphatic and empathetic debut that doesn't shy away from exploring grave themes such as imperialism, intergenerational trauma, war, and xenophobia." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Free Radicals is a deeply moving and keenly drawn story of courage, resilience and familial love, filled with tenderness, heart, romance, and hilarity. Lila Riesen is a talent to watch."--Jeff Zentner, award-winning author of The Serpent King

"Sharp, funny, and written with fierce love. This book is a hand over the heart and a nod to hope for the future of Afghanistan. It is impossible not to fall in love with Mafi, Raf, and Jalen. I laughed with and ached for these characters. Riesen's story is a heartfelt song for Afghanistan."--Julia Walton, author of Words on Bathroom Walls

"In this modern tale of a young Afghan American girl coming to terms with her identity. . . Riesen raises awareness of issues many young adults experience, such as family drama, xenophobia, racism, prejudice, and trolling. Teens will relate to the protagonist's struggles to build trust and be honest with others, all the while carrying trauma." --Booklist