Radium Girl

Radium Girl

Sofi Papamarko
  • $20.00

MAY 2021
182 pages | ISBN 978-1-989496-26-8

**Finalist for the 2023 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Speculative Fiction**
**Gold Winner of the 2021 Foreword INDIES Award for Short Stories**
**Shortlisted for the 2022 ReLit Award for Short Fiction**

Radium Girl is a collection full of dark wonder that explores the boundaries of love, death, loneliness and justice. In these twelve deft stories, Sofi Papamarko introduces a cast of unforgettable characters: Margie and Lu, teenaged conjoined twins; Rosie who cruises funerals; Pete the predatory magician; the subconscious mind of Marie Curie; Elda the Radium Girl and many more. With pitch-perfect writing, Papamarko shows us how human beings cope, break and triumph in the face of often unbearable circumstances.

Reviews | Interviews | Articles | Excerpt | About the Author

Advance Praise

“The stories in Radium Girl are majestic, thought-provoking worlds unto themselves, full of wit, humour, big ideas and superlative writing. If there’s any justice in the world, Sofi Papamarko’s brilliant creations will find a wide, dare I say viral, audience not only amongst aficionados of the short story form, but readers of all stripes.” 
– Andrew David MacDonald, author of When We Were Vikings

“So many of these stories lingered with me, whispering in my ear long after I’d finished reading them. They unsettled and alarmed me. Some characters in Radium Girl are trapped in unbearable circumstances. Others say or do upsetting things, or think disturbing thoughts. But Sofi Papamarko has an enormous heart, so she manages – skillfully, tenderly, magically, and with fierce humour – to reveal the deep, yearning humanity in everyone within these pages.”
– Jessica Westhead, author of Worry and Things Not to Do

“Sofi Papamarko is a brilliant observer of her world.”
– Dennis Bock, author of Going Home Again and The Ash Garden


1250 Ghost girls and glow-in-the-dark (Myshara Herbert-McMyn, The Ormsby Review, 15/10/2021)
"Papamarko’s writing is complex and fascinating. She draws the reader in with each story and leads them along a twisting path past pregnancy, baking competitions, funerals, and many other events – to a truly brilliant finale."

A radiant debut (Dave Williamson, Winnipeg Free Press, 28/08/2021)
"A varied collection of a dozen short stories, and most of them are blessed with lively first-person narration and scintillating dialogue."

Loneliness, Longing, and Other Poisons: Review of Sofi Papamarko’s Radium Girl (Anuja Varghese, Canthius, 04/08/2021)
"Radium Girl closes the book with a bittersweet combination of sadness and magic, leaving readers with the faintly glimmering hope that even in our darkest moments, there is always some part of us that will continue to shine."

Radium Girl (Rhonda Waterfall, Rhonda Waterfall, 21/07/2021)
"Radium Girl is a grab bag of serious fun, serious situations, and startling revelations."

31 Days of Stories 2021, Day 19: “Radium Girl” by Sofi Papamarko (Steven W. Beattie, That Shakespearean Rag, 19/05/2021)
"Papamarko’s story is a kind of wish-fulfillment fantasy about a radium factory worker who watches her colleagues get horribly sick while she herself grows stronger and more powerful."

RADIUM GIRL (Tanisha Rule, Foreword Reviews, May/June 2021)
"Easy and engrossing, the short stories of Radium Girl provoke unease and careful thought about diverse human experiences."


Ep. #697: Sofi Papamarko (Vish Khanna, Kreative Kontrol, 28/06/2022)
Sofi talks to Vish Khanna about her award-winning short story collection, life as a new mom in Toronto during a pandemic, our friend Jordan Howard, whether or not she was ever a journalist, dating and matchmaking, Honest Ed’s and allegories, human behaviour, writing a novel, future plans and more.

Surprisingly Dark Moments (Bruce Geddes, Prism international, 02/09/2021)
"Radium Girl is Sofi Papamarko’s debut collection of short stories, exploring themes of loneliness and alienation, and women reclaiming their power. What follows is a conversation between Sofi and Bruce Geddes about vengeance, flawed characters, and the inspirations behind the collection."

E244 with SOFI PAPAMARKO (Jamie Tennant, Get Lit, 22/07/2021)
Jamie Tennant and Sofi Papamarko talk about her book, Radium Girl.

July Book Talk: Sofi Papamarko (The Word on the Street, 17/07/2021)
Watch the Word on the Street's July Book Talk with author Sofi Papamarko in conversation with fellow author and friend Jessica Westhead.

"Their Story is Already Complete" Sofi Papamarko on Commitment in Short Fiction and Writing the Outsider (Open Book, 08/06/2021)
Sofi talks about how and why "Radium Girl" became the collection's title story, what the very different characters in each of her stories have in common with each other and how she researched the real-life counterparts who inspired her characters.

12 or 20 (second series) questions with Sofi Papamarko (rob mclennan's blog, 02/06/2021)
"I'm a bit of a commitment-phobe when it comes to writing, so short stories have been my comfort zone."


Canadian writer Sofi Papamarko among the winners of the 2021 Foreword INDIES Awards (Nikky Manfredi, CBC Books, 21/06/2022)
A lovely write up of Sofi Papamarko's win in the Foreword INDIES awards.

23 Canadian collections to read for Short Story Month (CBC Books, 17/05/2022)
A round-up of collections of short stories to read for short story month.

Short fiction from Norma Dunning, David Huebert, Alix Ohlin among works shortlisted for 2022 ReLit Awards (CBC Books, 09/05/2022)
A nice write-up about the ReLit Awards shortlist.

2021 Foreword INDIES Finalists in Short Stories (Foreword INDIES, 14/03/2022)
Radium Girl is a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Award in Short Stories.

Introducing the 49th Shelf Summer Books List: Part 1 (Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, 24/06/2021)
Sofi's collection of stories makes 49th Shelf's Summer Books List: Part 1

Something to Cry About (Sofi Papamarko, The Quarantine Review, 22/06/2021)
Sofi shares an excerpt from Radium Girl with The Quarantine Review.

Cooking with Off/Kilter Volume 2 (All Lit Up, 09/06/2021)
Sofi's collection of stories is featured in the Off/Kilter kitchen, where All Lit Up is cooking up a batch of recommendations for those with discerning tastes that lean towards the slightly strange.

Do-Lit-Yourself: Spring Nails Edition (All Lit Up, 03/06/2021)
Sofi's collection of stories is featured on this round-up of literary-inspired nail art!

Short is sweet: Radium Girl author Sofi Papamarko shares her favourite Toronto short-story collections (Sofi Papamarko, the Toronto Star, 16/05/2021)
"Toronto is a great city for short-story writers — and writers in general — because just about anything can happen here." Sofi shares her favourite short story collections set in Toronto.

She Blinded Me With Science (Krista Foss, 49th Shelf, 03/29/2021)
Sofi's collection is included on this list of books featuring women in STEM.

58 Canadian works of fiction coming out in spring 2021 (CBC Books, 02/02/2021)
Sofi's short story collection makes the CBC's list of 58 Canadian works of fiction coming out in spring 2021.

2021 Spring Preview: Fiction (Quill & Quire, 11/01/2021)
Sofi's book is mentioned in Quill & Quire's Spring Preview

Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Fiction Preview (49th Shelf, 07/01/2021)
Sofi's short story collection is one of 49th Shelf's most anticipated!


Click here to read an excerpt of Radium Girl.

About the Author

Sofi Papamarko is a former regular columnist for The Toronto StarSun Media Newspapers and Metro Canada. She’s also written for The Globe & MailChatelaineFlare, CBC, Reader’s DigestSalonExclaim! and many other publications, both living and dead. Her short stories have appeared in Taddle CreekMaisonneuveRoom and The Toronto Star. She lives in Toronto with her partner and his son.

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