Radium Halos – A Novel about the Radium Dial Painters
Radium Halos is historical fiction based on the true events of the Radium Girls: a group of female factory workers who in the early 1920s, contracted radiation poisoning from painting luminous watch and clock dials with radium paint. Our narrator is Helen Waterman, a 65-year-old mental patient who worked at the factory when she was 16. She tells us her story through flashbacks, slowly revealing her past, the loved ones she's lost, and the dangerous secrets she's kept all these years.
FOREWORD by Leonard Grossman: Five years before I was born, my father, Leonard J. Grossman, represented women from Ottawa, Illinois in litigation against the Radium Dial Corporation seeking not merely damages but also recognition of what had been done to them. I grew up in the shadow of the Radium Dial case, a landmark in workers' rights in this country. I was deeply proud of my father and infuriated, as he was, by the injustice inflicted on these women. I am sure this background is one reason I became a government lawyer enforcing workers' rights. So when I came across Radium Halos by Shelley Stout I was very excited. Sometimes fiction can speak truth in ways that the bare facts cannot. Ms. Stout has found a unique voice in which to tell the tragic story of the Radium Dial workers and at the same time to say much about life in this country. The story goes beyond the Radium Dial case and reflects much about our attitudes toward work, women, mental illness and aging. Along the way it speaks of fear and loyalty and truth itself. --Leonard Grossman September 2009
Available as Kindle or paperback.
About Shelley Stout (Charlotte, North Carolina Author)
Originally from Northern Virginia, Shelley Stout resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she enjoys spending time with her two grown sons. She also enjoys volunteering, dancing, and traveling to local historical sites. Shelley has been a contributing writer for local and regional magazines, and her award-winning fiction has appeared in anthologies, The Storyteller Magazine and online at WordRiot.