Wanting Radiance

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Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
South Limestone
Publish Date
5.98 X 8.9 X 0.79 inches | 0.88 pounds

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About the Author

Karen Salyer McElmurray won an AWP Award for creative nonfiction for her book Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother's Journey and the Orison Award for creative nonfiction for her essay "Blue Glass." She has had other essays recognized as "Notable Essays" in Best American Essays, while her essays "Speaking Freely" and "Attics" were nominated for Pushcart Awards. She currently teaches at Gettysburg College and in West Virginia Wesleyan's Low-Residency MFA program.


"The memorable characters of Wanting Radiance brave long, labyrinthine roads in order to search for the ones they love -- or for their belief in love itself." -- Chapter 16

"Original, inherently absorbing, deftly crafted, and memorably entertaining, Wanting Radiance by Karen Salyer McElmurray is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary American Literary Fiction collections." -- Midwest Book Review

"Powerful and lyrical... A page-turner, but one in which the momentum is built not only on a compelling story, but on the integrity and complexity of its characters, the lyricism of each line.... Wanting Radiance is an extraordinary book by an extraordinary writer. It's hard not to see McElmurray in her story, in her characters -- the woman with magic in her hands, shuffling the tarot cards, dealing prophecy, showing us who we were, who we are, who we can become. What's possible if we let in a little light." -- Entropy Magazine

"Part of what makes Wanting Radiance an important ecofeminist novel is that it is also many other things: a gothic love story, a murder mystery, a revival of Jerry Garcia's bluegrass told by Flannery O'Connor. Voices from the grave haunt the broken hearts of lovers lost and dead. The prose sings the spirit of Appalachia, with sentences that evoke a fiddle's voice or mandolin's woody strum. One can taste the sadness of tragedy while at the same time admiring the scenery of 'mountains soaking up the dawn daylight' or 'wind settling in meadows underneath quiet stars.' Wanting Radiance is a song about the places that feel like home. Home we left behind. Home we head towards. Home we ruin because of how much we want it." -- Lit Pub

"A poetic tale of a daughter's quiet exploration of her past and how it pushes her forward. Part mystery, part eulogy, McElmurray's lyrical style transformed me from skeptical to fully invested in Miracelle Loving's search for identity, meaning, and love." -- The Rumpus

"The pages of Wanting Radiance, a luscious literary novel by Karen Salyer McElmurray, are haunted by characters yearning for love -- or something else they can't quite name.... Gorgeous language: words perfectly chosen, rhythmically arranged. McElmurray piles image after radiant image, full of heat and light and smoky mystery. Wanting Radiance is sure to sweep you under its under its dark spell, too." -- Southern Literary Review