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Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel Audiobook, by Ishmael Beah Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Ishmael Beah Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2014 ISBN: 9781427233417
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A haunting, beautiful first novel by the bestselling author of A Long Way Gone When Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone was published in 2007, it soared to the top of bestseller lists, becoming an instant classic: a harrowing account of Sierra Leone's civil war and the fate of child soldiers that "everyone in the world should read" (The Washington Post). Now Beah, whom Dave Eggers has called "arguably the most read African writer in contemporary literature," has returned with his first novel, an affecting, tender parable about postwar life in Sierra Leone. At the center of Radiance of Tomorrow are Benjamin and Bockarie, two longtime friends who return to their hometown, Imperi, after the civil war. The village is in ruins, the ground covered in bones. As more villagers begin to come back, Benjamin and Bockarie try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they're beset by obstacles: a scarcity of food; a rash of murders, thievery, rape, and retaliation; and the depredations of a foreign mining company intent on sullying the town's water supply and blocking its paths with electric wires. As Benjamin and Bockarie search for a way to restore order, they're forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike. With the gentle lyricism of a dream and the moral clarity of a fable, Radiance of Tomorrow is a powerful novel about preserving what means the most to us, even in uncertain times.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Radiance of Tomorrow is…a rare look at the phenomena of homecoming and reclamation, written with the moral urgency of a parable and the searing precision of a firsthand account…Beah’s voice is more expansive and lyrical here than in his memoir.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Graham’s engagement with this material never wavers, propelled by Beah’s often musical prose.”

    Chicago Tribune (audio review)

  • “Beah writes in the gentle, inviting voice of one sharing a fable…Haunting.”


  • “Everyone in the world should read this book. Not just because it contains an amazing story, or because it’s our moral, bleeding-heart duty, or because it’s clearly written. We should read it to learn about the world and about what it means to be human.”

    Washington Post

  • “It is a memorable and emotionally resonant first novel, one that may mark the start of a major new novelist.”, editorial review

  • “Graham’s rendition of dialogue is spot on, and he provides the book’s characters with distinctive and appropriate voices. Listeners will find that this powerful novel makes for an equally powerful audiobook, thanks to a standout reading from Graham.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “In Radiance of Tomorrow, Beah has produced a formidable and memorable novel—a story of resilience and survival, and, ultimately, rebirth.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Through their graceful endurance, Beah shows us the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Dion Graham skillfully balances his presentation of this harrowing novel. His lyrical delivery illustrates Beah's claim that he brings his country's oral tradition to his writing. AudioFile Magazine

  • Underlining this compelling, leisurely paced story is the gorgeous, image-rich language, and Graham's masterful narration highlights the native cadences and the lyrical phrasings. He smoothly portrays the range of characters and their accents, from the metaphor-filled speech of the villagers to the authoritative tones of the factory owners and the more clipped speech of the city dwellers. Graham's performance also underlines the sense of despair that pervades the novel, lightened occasionally by moments of humor and, ultimately, hope. He seamlessly integrates the characters, cadence, and tone, connecting listeners to this powerful story. Booklist

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A 2014 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Los Angeles Times bestseller
  • An NPR bestseller
  • Selected for the January 2014 Indie Next List
  • A 2014 Library Journal Editor’s Pick
  • Longlisted for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize
  • Nominated for the 2015 Audie Award for Best Solo Narration – Male
  • Nominated for Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award - Finalist, 2015
  • Among shortlisted titles for Audie Award Finalist, 2015
  • Among longlisted titles for Christian Science Monitor Best Books of the Year, 2014

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About the Author

Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. He came to the United States when he was seventeen and graduated from Oberlin College in 2004. He is a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War; a member of the Human Rights Watch, Children’s Rights Advisory Committee; a visiting scholar at the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University; a cofounder of the Network of Young People Affected by War; and the president of the Ishmael Beah Foundation. He has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many panels on the effects of war on children. He lives in New York.

About the Narrator

Dion Graham is an award-winning narrator named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Audie Award numerous times, as well as Earphones Awards, the Publishers Weekly Listen Up Awards, IBPA Ben Franklin Awards, and the ALA Odyssey Award. He was nominated in 2015 for a Voice Arts Award for Outstanding Narration. He is also a critically acclaimed actor who he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. He is a graduate of Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, with an MFA degree in acting.