Eleanor Lerman is a writer who lives in New York. Her first book of poetry, Armed Love (Wesleyan University Press, 1973), published when she was twenty-one, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has since published five other award-winning collections of poetry—Come the Sweet By and By (University of Massachusetts Press, 1975); The Mystery of Meteors (Sarabande Books, 2001); Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds (Sarabande Books, 2005); and The Sensual World Re-Emerges (Sarabande Books, 2010), and Strange Life (Mayapple Press, 2014) along with The Blonde on the Train (Mayapple Press, 2009) a collection of short stories. She was awarded the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the Nation magazine for the year's most outstanding book of poetry for Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds and received a 2007 Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2011 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her first novel, Janet Planet, which is based on the life of Carlos Castaneda, was published in 2011 followed by the speculative fiction novel Radiomen (The Permanent Press, 2015). For four decades, her poetry and short fiction have also been published in numerous literary journals and other venues, both in print and online. She is a member of PEN and of The Authors Guild.
There are two themes to Radiomen. First, if there are aliens interacting with our world they are likely just as confused about who or what God is as human beings are; and second, whoever they are, they're probably just as fond of dogs as we are.
Laurie, a woman who works at a bar at Kennedy airport doesn't remember that when she was a child, she met an alien on the fire escape of a building where her uncle kept a shortwave radio. The radio is part of a universal network of repeaters maintained by an unknown alien race; they us the network to broadcast prayers into the universe.
She meets a psychic who is actually part of a Scientology-like cult called the "Blue Awareness," as well as a late-night radio host. All have their own reasons for unraveling the mystery of the lost radio network.
Laurie is given a strange dog by her neighbor, an immigrant and a member of the Dogon tribe - people who believe they were visited by aliens long ago and repeat a myth about how the aliens brought dog-like animals with them. All Dogon dogs are supposedly descended from that animal.
As conflict develops between the Blue Awareness leader and the other characters, the Dogon acts as an intermediary between the humans, who want to understand why the aliens need the radio network, and the aliens who need the humans to help them find a lost element of the universal network.
Awards and Recognition
- Guggenheim Fellowship
- NEA Fellowship
- Lenore Marshall Prize
- National Book Award Finalist (Poetry)