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The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
In The Illumination, people's wounds begin to radiate light. Their pain is illuminated for all to see. A photojournalist has kept a diary of love notes to his wife. After her death in an automobile accident, he can't bear to read it anymore. The diary passes to a data analyst, a schoolchild, a missionary, a writer, and a street vendor, each of them affected by it. With their wounds open for all to see, they seek solace and understanding. Even the healthy who have no wounds wonder why they've been bypassed for illumination. Kevin Brockmeier's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Boston Globe saying, "This idea that pain is our most beautiful possession, that an inability to forge true intimacy might be our tragic flaw, might seem like a difficult, depressing idea, but in Brockmeier's universe, it becomes the most human -- and the most bold, brave and humane -- thing about us."