Candlelight by Ravi S. Kahn, PhD is a stunning book, breathtakingly beautiful through its emotional honesty. The author has written a fictional memoir at the age of 80, but the book surges with the nuclear energy of a young man’s force. I am not sure what a fictional memoir is. I know truth when I read it or hear it. Maybe names have been changed, but the intellectual processes of the author, his bleeding sorrows and regrets, his musings about what he knows and what he doesn’t know, and his loving optimism for a better world when “Generation Fun” will be in its prime, all sum to a brilliant portrait of a life lived and a life to be.
The narrator in this book tells the story of his life and the most important people to him through time. The reader quickly understands that the man was a brilliant scientist, an Asian man of Muslim faith, who fled his country for the sake of his family and established them in the United States. It was a time of unconscionable human repression. For reasons explained in the book, the author late in life wonders if his flight with family was a mistake. He goes years suffering depression and regret. Yet, the story reveals what perhaps the author still does not know: he was and is a very brave man.
I ended the book feeling dumfounded. It is simply beautiful. I spent some time trying to figure out how I could write a review, but frankly, I have never read anything quite like this. So I am going to make this very simple: Read this book! It is rare to receive ruminations that originate both from intellect and heart. This author does not give you time to judge him. Just when you think that you have figured out his life for him, he transports you warp-speed to a view from a different place in space and time.
Read this book. You rarely receive gifts of such lovely quality.
Candlelight, Friesen Press 2015 http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000024340203/Ravi-S.-Kahn-Candlelight