Radiance of Tomorrow A Novel

Ishmael Beah

Sarah Crichton Books




256 Pages


Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

Coming in January 2014

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.


Praise for Radiance of Tomorrow

Praise for A Long Way Gone

“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.” —The Washington Post

“A breathtaking and unselfpitying account of how a gentle spirit survives a childhood from which all innocence has suddenly been sucked out.  It's a truly riveting memoir.” —Time

In the Press

‘Radiance of Tomorrow,’ by Ishmael Beah - The Washington Post
They survived Sierra Leone’s civil war, but can they rebuild their lives?
Ishmael Beah, from boy solider to novelist
After best-selling memoir, Ishmael Beah turns to fiction
Behind the Book: Ishmael Beah’s ‘Radiance’ - Books - The Boston Globe
Ishmael Beah's "A Long Way Gone," a memoir of time spent as a child soldier in Sierra Leone, was a sensation when it was published in 2007. This month the author's first novel, "Radiance of Tomorrow," comes out. Writing fiction, he said, felt liberating compared with to memoir.
Ishmael Beah's New Battles - TIME
The former boy soldier has a new book and is getting good at living between two worlds

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

It is the end, or maybe the beginning, of another story.
Every story begins and ends with a woman, a mother, a grandmother, a girl, a child.
Every story is a birth …  

SHE WAS THE FIRST TO ARRIVE where it seemed the wind no longer exhaled. Several miles from town, the trees had entangled one another. Their branches grew toward the ground, burying the leaves in the soil to blind their eyes so the sun would not promise them tomorrow with its rays. It was only the path that was reluctant to cloak its surface completely with grasses, as though it
Read the full excerpt



  • Ishmael Beah | Radiance of Tomorrow | Audiobook

    Author Ishmael Beah reads from the introduction to his novel, Radiance of Tomorrow.

  • The Colbert Report

    Author and former child soldier Ishmael Beah explains how he was recruited into the Sierra Leone military at 13 years of age.

MORE MEDIA Access more related media on the web



  • Ishmael Beah

  • Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. He came to the United States when he was seventeen and studied political science at Oberlin College, graduating in 2004. His first book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, was a number-one New York Times bestseller and has been published in more than forty languages. Time magazine named it one of their Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2007. Beah is a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War; a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Advisory Committee; an advisory board member of the Center for the Study of Youth & Political Violence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; a former visiting scholar at the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University; a senior research fellow at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University; cofounder of the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW); and 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 with his wife in New York City.You can follow him on Twitter at @IshmaelBeah.
  • Ishmael Beah John Madere
    Ishmael Beah


    Ishmael Beah

    Macmillan Speakers Bureau

    represents thought-provoking authors and experts. We can find a speaker uniquely positioned for your audience and budget.

    More info




Download PDF



Go to website


Sign Up


Reading Group Guide