The Dancer, The Scientist, and a Friendship Forged in Light


By Liz Heinecke

Read by Moira Quirk

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  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged) $27.99
  2. ebook $14.99 $19.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $28.00 $35.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around February 16, 2021. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Part hidden history, part love letter to creative innovation, this is the true story of an unlikely friendship between a dancer, Loie Fuller, and a scientist, Marie Curie, brought together by an illuminating discovery.

At the turn of the century, Paris was a hotbed of creativity. Technology boomed, delivering to the world electric light, the automobile, and new ways to treat disease, while imagination blossomed, creating Art Nouveau, motion pictures, and modernist literature. A pivotal figure during this time, yet largely forgotten today, Loie Fuller was an American performance artist who became a living symbol of the Art Nouveau movement with her hypnotic dances and stunning theatrical effects. Credited today as the pioneer of modern dance, she was perennially broke, never took no for an answer, spent most of her life with a female partner, and never questioned her drive. She was a visionary, a renegade, and a loyal friend.

In the early 1900s, she heard about Marie Curie's discovery of a glowing blue element and dreamed of using it to dazzle audiences on stage. While Loie's dream wouldn't be realized, her connection with Marie and their shared fascination with radium endured. Radiant is the true story of Marie Curie and Loie Fuller, two revolutionary women drawn together at the dawn of a new era by a singular discovery, and the lifelong friendship that grew out of their shared passion for enlightenment.


  • "Radiant is the story of an unlikely friendship between two boundary-breaking women, each determined to bring some light into a dark world. A remarkable tale of science and art, beauty and loss, the power of the mind and the frailty of the body. Luminous."
    Emily Anthes, Award-winning author of The Great Indoors
  • "Written at the vibrant intersection of science and art, Radiant details the fascinating lives of Marie Curie and Loïe Fuller. Both of these extraordinary women pursued their research with creativity and persistence, imagining radical new possibilities in their respective fields of chemistry and dance. Liz Heinecke's delightful book stages the story of their lively friendship within the proscenium frame of Belle Époque Paris."
    Ann Cooper Albright, author of Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loïe Fuller
  • "Radiant is the absorbing story of two women moving through one another's orbits on the edge of their own singular legacies. In this fascinating story, Heinecke illuminates the individual work of Fuller and Curie along with their shared connection, leaving the reader with a sense of the fighting spirit they both held for their work, the people they loved, and life itself."
    Amelia Gray, author of Isadora
  • "Radiant is an apt name for this novel that illuminates subjects ranging from history to science and most especially, the lives and friendship of Loie Fuller and Marie Curie, two women who refused to let their genius and passion be thwarted by societal norms. An engaging, enlightening, and thoroughly entertaining read."
    Lorna Landvik, bestselling author of Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)
  • "Radiant is an uplifting story of discovery and friendship. Grounded in scientific and historical research, Liz Heinecke's novel evokes the brilliance of Paris in the Belle Époque and delivers a timely reminder that even frustrated hope can produce enduring fulfillment."
    Michael Joseph Gross, contributing editor, Vanity Fair
  • "Liz Heinecke's Radiant is a fascinating, exhaustively researched story about two women, scientist Marie Curie, and dancer Loie Fuller at the beginning of the 20th century in Paris. Both women broke through impossibly thick glass ceilings to become celebrated innovators. The two meet and an unlikely friendship is forged by both women's fascination with the possibilities of light. Radiant reads like a novel that you can't put down due to Heinecke's impressive prose and a gift for storytelling. I love this book."
    Laurie Lindeen, essayist and author of Petal Pusher
  • "Enchanting and informative, Radiant brings to light two critical figures at the turn of the 20th century: the world's first important female scientist, two-time Nobel-prize winner Marie Curie, and the mother of modern dance, Loie Fuller. This is a story of innovation and tenacity, beautifully conveyed by Liz Heinecke and chock full of scientific tidbits. Read this illuminating book, and you'll encounter Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, and you'll understand why Marie Curie is one of our greatest scientists, why movie theaters are dark, and why you should travel (again) to Paris."
    Dr. David Schneider, author of The Invention of Surgery
  • "Liz Heinecke expertly weaves the remarkable stories of two breathtakingly original women, Marie Curie and Loïe Fuller, into a superb book. Both women disrupted expectations and forged new paths in their fields and their friendship reveals the powerful connection between art and science at the turn of the 20th century. Radiant is compelling and vibrant."
    Zeva Oelbaum, co-director of Obsessed with Light

On Sale
Feb 16, 2021
Hachette Audio

Liz Heinecke

About the Author

Liz Heinecke has an undergraduate degree in art from Luther College, a master's degree in bacteriology from UW Madison and worked as an academic molecular biology researcher before starting her wildly successful online educational platform KitchenPantryScientist.com. She has written seven books teaching kids (and their parents) how to perform simple science experiments at home, including two which pair science experiments with history lessons about scientists. She is a regular fixture on local TV morning shows including CBS and ABC, and frequently makes appearances for library programs, and at STEM, STEAM and tech festivals. Between experiments and writing, Liz paints, sings, and plays the banjo. She lives in Minneapolis, MN.

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