In resurrecting lives that never were, Light Perpetual is a miracle, not only of art, but of encompassing empathy. The novel becomes not only about the terribly brief lives of these five fictional children, but of the finitude that bounds all the living and the dead.
When the U.S military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the American government portrayed the weapons as equivalent to large conventional bombs. Military censors restricted access to Hiroshima, but a young journalist named John Hersey managed to get there and write a devastating account of the death, destruction and radiation poisoning he encountered. Author Lesley M.M. Blume tells Hersey's story in her book, Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed it to the World.