Shaena Lambert


“Keiko disembarks from a plane on a New York airstrip in March 1952, turning one horribly scarred cheek away from the pop and flare of news photographers’ cameras. An eighteen-year-old survivor of the atomic blast that destroyed Hiroshima and killed the people she loved best, Keiko has been chosen from hundreds to undergo sponsored treatments for her face. On the tarmac, waiting nervously, is Daisy, a childless housewife who is to take care of the girl in her suburban Long Island home.

In the storytelling tradition of Rose Tremain and J. G. Ballard, set against the backdrop of McCarthyism and an America appalled and entranced by its own destructive power, Radiance is an astonishing first novel about a kind of intimacy that can only lead to betrayal.”      

  – from the Virago book jacket


Selected as a “Best book of the year” by the Globe and Mail, Quill and Quire, New Zealand-Star Herald and New Zealand Listener.

Finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Finalist for the Ethel Wilson Award.
Finalist for the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen Award.

Published by Random House Canada, Canada, February 2007.
Published by Virago Press, United Kingdom, May 2007.


“It must be something in the water up there, but Canadian women writers are a remarkable breed – names like Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Carol Shields offer a guarantee of a good story well told. And now there’s a new name to add the pantheon: Shaena Lambert, whose debut novel, Radiance, is as compelling, as thoughtful and as fundamentally readable as those of her better-known sisters. It is a mark of Lambert’s skill as a writer that I wept. And it’s entirely possible that you will too”

– The Independent on Sunday

“A fascinating debut novel”

– Bella

“This beautifully written novel captures the essence of Fifties America without striving for effect. Lambert, who has published an acclaimed collection of short stories, adds to Canada’s reputation for nurturing its literary writers”

– Daily Mail

“Lambert’s writing, like Keiko herself, is detached, cool and compelling”

– Scotland on Sunday

Read more Reviews for Radiance …

Buy Books

To buy Shaena's books, visit one of the online retailers below:

Amazon (Canada)
Oh, My Darling
(advance orders)

The Falling Woman

Amazon (USA)

Amazon (UK)

Amazon (Germany)
Die fallende Frau