“In a world where success isn’t just about money or self-actualization, but how many people watch you enjoy it on Instagram, Radiant Shimmering Light is the literary equivalent of zooming out from the perfectly lit avocado toast sitting on a charming window sill to the dank, cramped apartment that your favourite lifestyle blogger actually lives in. . . . Smart and subtle.” “Toronto Star
A nuanced satire?both hilarious and disconcerting?that probes the blurred lines between empowerment, spirituality and consumerism in our online lives
Lilian Quick is forty, single and childless, and works as a pet portrait artist. She paints the coloured light only she can see, but animal aura portraits are a niche market at best. She’s working hard to build her brand on social media and struggling to pay the rent.
Her estranged cousin has become Internet-famous as “Eleven” Novak, the face of a massive feminine-lifestyle empowerment brand, and when Eleven comes to town on tour, the two women reconnect. Despite twenty years of unexplained silence, Eleven offers Lilian a place at the Temple, her Manhattan office. Lilian accepts, moves to New York and quickly enrolls in the Ascendency, Eleven’s signature program.
In just three months, Lilian’s life changes drastically: she learns how to break her negative thought patterns, achieves financial solvency, grows an active and engaged online following and builds authentic friendships. Success! . . . But can Lilian trust everything Eleven says? Does the new life she’s built for herself represent who she truly is? This compelling, heartfelt satire asks: How do we recognize authenticity when storytelling and magic have been co-opted by marketing?
“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.”
“Radiant Shimmering Light is inventive and modern. Sarah Selecky delivers a cast of characters who are both recognizable and utterly unique in
this novel that is as luminous as its title.”
“Bright and crisp. Humour and light infuse the sentences. . . . Brimming with insights into female-driven motivational seminars in the age of #MeToo, Radiant Shimmering Light speaks to our desire for community.”
“Warm, sharp and deceptively light, with smart things to say about the commodification of spirituality; I ate it up.”
“Selecky’s stories are ultra-lush and wise, wickedly wry. She is uncannily accurate about all the tender, blasted-open moments that change us for the good. This Cake… is delicious.”
“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!”
“Fresh and original, Sarah Selecky’s novel cleverly satirizes our insta-world but also takes its characters seriously enough to give them an ending that’s moving and transcendent.”
“Vibrant, poetic and salacious… It’s no wonder that Cake came so close to winning the Giller.”
“The human desire to belong is at the heart of Sarah Selecky’s radiant, shimmering novel. In the person of Lilian Quick, Selecky has created an irresistible heroine. She has once again proven that she is a writer perfectly attuned to the music of the present moment.”
“Sarah Selecky could easily be the next Alice Munro.”
“An elegant collection that weaves between life’s everyday pleasures and everyday pain…a beautiful book”
“Strong, often understated, witty and always compassionate. This Cake is for the Party is more than dessert — it is a veritable feast!”
“Our online world provides endless humorous possibility and here is a book that’s witty, timely, and smart with regard to social media. But then, quite wonderfully, Selecky’s story turns more complicated than it first appeared. Bursting with energy and color, every page delights and provokes. This book is a dazzler.”