UW-Madison graduate, author and scientist Liz Heinecke has written seven books on science experiments for children.
In February, she published her first historical fiction novel and will be releasing “The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Physics for Kids” in a few months, with possibly two more books slated for 2022.
She describes her non-fiction book, “Radiant: The Dancer, The Scientist, and a Friendship Forged in Light,” as her “Passion Project.”
“I wanted to write a book at the intersection of art and science,” said Heinecke. “I love writing about science, but it was so much fun to immerse yourself in Paris in 1900 and in culture, theater, dance and science. I think it’s really important that people look at science and art in a cultural context.
“Radiant” tells the story of the life and friendship between the scientist Marie Curie, famous for discovering the element radium and her research on radioactivity, and the dancer Loïe Fuller, known for her experiments with chemicals and the effects of light at the turn of the century.
Q: How do you describe “Radiant”?
A: I describe it as a true story about Marie Curie and the American dancer Loïe Fuller which reads like a novel. Much of the dialogue actually comes from letters from Marie and Loïe. I am a big reader of fiction and Loïe was a very unusual person and tried to do things in a new way. I was trying to write this book in a new way. Both have accomplished so much and have had such rich lives. I had to choose snapshots of their lives. I chose those scenes that were so visual: Loïe dancing on top of the Eiffel Tower and Marie and Pierre in the lab late at night with radium glowing around them. I wanted to be able to describe things and imagine what Marie and Loïe must be feeling.