Radiant Shimmering Light: A Novel
“Selecky bucks expectations…a radically gentle takedown of capitalist spiritualism.” — Entertainment Weekly
“An intriguing novel which will elicit a wide range of responses from readers. I can’t think of a more perfect novel for a book club.” — Readings Australia
A sharply funny and wise debut novel about female friendship, the face we show the world online, and being a spiritual girl in a material world, from the Scotiabank Giller Prize–shortlisted author of This Cake Is for the Party
When Eleven comes to town as part of her sales tour, she offers Lilian a place at the Temple, her Manhattan office. Despite twenty years of silence, Eleven welcomes her long-lost cousin with open arms, and the two women begin a new relationship.
Lilian quickly enrols in the Ascendency, Eleven’s signature program:
Lilian’s sensitive, artistic nature is stretched by the work she does in the Ascendency, and pushed even further by her cousin’s careful life coaching. In just three months, Lilian’s life changes drastically and becomes everything she’s dreamed of. But is it everything she wants? And can she trust everything Eleven says?
Optioned for television by Muse Entertainment.
Download book club questions (PDF):
A candid conversation with Misread Podcast
A conversation with Kim Davids Mandar Bookish Radio
TNP102: Sarah Selecky + Radiant Shimmering Light (Carmen Spagnola) Numinous Podcast
#100: A conversation with Caroline Donahue The Secret Library
A book review on Radio New Zealand
“In Radiant Shimmering Light, [Sarah Selecky] nails the Perfect-Yourself 35-43 gen in all of its hopeful internet-brand-conscious pyramid-scheming empowering goddessiness. Social satire + cultural insight whipped into a yummy froth! You’ll laugh + shed a tiny precious tear, my petals!”
“Selecky pokes fun at the culture of online empowerment that attracts women in particular — that strange mix of spirituality, philosophy and self-help with a healthy dash of capitalism — without mocking or dismissing it. . . . Smart and subtle.” — Toronto Star
This Cake Is for the Party
Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist, Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, Best First Book Award, Longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, Winner, CBC Award: Best New Fiction,The Globe 100: Best Canadian Fiction
This Cake Is for the Party reminds us that the best parts of our lives are often the least flashy. Reminiscent of early Margaret Atwood, with echoes of Lisa Moore and Ali Smith, these absorbing stories are about love and longing, and touch us in a myriad of subtle and affecting ways.
“The subjects of these 10 sparkling stories tend to live everyday lives, with everyday problems and neuroses about food, friends, lovers, parents and spouses. And yet they’re utterly fascinating. Selecky’s writing, so unfussy and fresh, lures the reader in over and over again.”
— The New York Times Book Review
The Missing Story
This story, called “This Cake Is for the Party,” was the very first story Sarah wrote for the book. Because of its special status as a prequel, it didn’t fit in the collection, and she saved it as a stand alone story. Cover photograph and design by Michel Vrana.
Read this story to find out what happened to David and Bonnie a few months before “Standing Up For Janey.”