Ethel Whitty was born in Cape Breton and emigrated from there to Vancouver in her early twenties. She wrote The Light a Body Radiates in stolen moments and occasional weeks of solitude while working for twelve years as the Director of the Carnegie Community Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. During that period she met some of the most courageous and resilient people one could ever hope to know. This novel is not about the patrons of the Carnegie Centre – but the generosity of spirit with which they care for each other, in the most profoundly abandoned circumstances, has supported the telling of this story. Her year in the Writer’s Studio at SFU coincided with her work and provided the nurture and structure that was needed to begin to put the words on the page. In her early years in Vancouver, she worked as a stage actor and wrote both plays and film scripts. Her work has been supported, in development, by Canada Council for the Arts.