Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout

Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Lauren Redniss

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  • Publisher: Igniter
  • Format: Hardback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 216mm x 287mm x 23mm | 975g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0061351326
  • ISBN 13: 9780061351327
  • Sales rank: 36,597

Product description

The name Marie Curie is enshrined in every schoolchild's mind as one of the earliest and most inspirational female pioneers in the history of science. Yet the rich, vivid, and romantic story of Marya Salome Sklodwska - the young Polish national who discovered radioactivity - has been lost to time ...until now, in the pages of this stunning, wildly creative, and uniquely moving visual biography by one of the most creative artistic talents working today. Lauren Redniss, a celebrated "New York Times" illustrator and storyteller, has thrown herself deeply and passionately into researching the story of the real Marie Curie; of her passionate and tragic romantic life; and, of the century of scientific innovation and controversy that sprang from her discovery of radium and went on to change the course of world history. Drawing on her original archival research in Europe and the United States - and a host of new interviews with Curie family members and scientists who carry on the Curie tradition - Redniss has created a fascinating and deeply moving book. A visually stunning work of illustrative art, "Radioactive" walks the reader through the story of Curie's own life, which was marked by both extraordinary scientific discovery and dramatic personal trauma - from her romantic partnership with Pierre, through his tragic decline from radium poisoning and death in a traffic accident, to the scandalous affair with another fellow scientist that almost cost her second Nobel Prize. But it also casts an eye forward, to survey the changes wrought by Curie's discovery of radioactivity-illuminating the path from the Curie laboratory past the bright red mushroom clouds in the Nevada desert through Three Mile Island and the advance in radiation therapy and nuclear power today. Whether young or old, scientific novice or expert, no one will fail to be moved by Lauren Redniss' eerie and wondrous evocation of one of history's most intriguing figures.

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Author information

Lauren Redniss is the author of Century Girl: 100 Years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis, Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies. A graduate of Brown University and the School of Visual Arts, she is a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, which nominated her work for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2008-2009 she was a selected as a Fellow at the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, where she completed her work on Radioactive. She teaches at the Parsons School of Design and lives in New York City.

Customer reviews

By Magdeline Lum 27 Jul 2011 5

Absolutely breathtaking.

The story of Marie Curie is told in a passionate manner, not just about her life but also about her work.

As well as the story is the implication and significance of her work today with life today with mentions of radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer and interviews with survivors from Hiroshima.

Chemistry knowledge is not a requirement to enjoy or understand this beautifully presented book.

The cover glows in the dark.

Review quote

"[Radioactive is] a deeply unusual and forceful thing to have in your hands. Ms. Redniss's text is long, literate and supple...Her drawings are both vivid and ethereal...Radioactive is serious science and brisk storytelling. The word 'luminous' is a critic's clich?, to be avoided at all costs, but it fits."--New York Times