The Mathematician's Shiva (Paperback)

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After a famous mathematician’s death, her colleagues and rivals from all over the world gather along with the family to sit shiva and honor her memory. As the narrator remarks, it is a mistake to think that math is about numbers, and mathematicians are a passionate, contentious, and ambitious lot. Certain that the late Rachela Karnokovitch has solved the Navier-Stokes problem and taken the solution to her grave, the group looks for clues under floorboards, interrogates her pet parrot, and searches the house. Readers, whether they have an appreciation of mathematics or not, will appreciate the love, family, and beauty of this novel.

— Lyn

After a famous mathematician’s death, her colleagues and rivals from all over the world gather along with the family to sit shiva and honor her memory. As the narrator remarks, it is a mistake to think that math is about numbers, and mathematicians are a passionate, contentious, and ambitious lot. Certain that the late Rachela Karnokovitch has solved the Navier-Stokes problem and taken the solution to her grave, the group looks for clues under floorboards, interrogates her pet parrot, and searches the house. Readers, whether they have an appreciation of mathematics or not, will appreciate the love, family, and beauty of this novel.

— From Lyn

Description


WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DEBUT FICTION
For readers of This Is Where I Leave You and Everything Is Illuminated, a brilliant and compelling family saga full of warmth, pathos, history and humor (Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here)

When the greatest female mathematician in history passes away, her son, Alexander Sasha Karnokovitch, just wants to mourn his mother in peace. But rumor has it the notoriously eccentric Polish emigre has solved one of the most difficult problems in all of mathematics, and has spitefully taken the solution to her grave. As a ragtag group of mathematicians from around the world descends upon Rachela's shiva, determined to find the proof or solve it for themselves even if it means prying up the floorboards for notes or desperately scrutinizing the mutterings of her African Grey parrot Sasha must come to terms with his mother's outsized influence on his life.
Spanning decades and continents, from a crowded living room in Madison, Wisconsin, to the windswept beach on the Barents Sea where a young Rachela had her first mathematical breakthrough, The Mathematician's Shiva is an unexpectedly moving and uproariously funny novel that captures humanity's drive not just to survive, but to achieve the impossible.

About the Author


Stuart Rojstaczer was raised in Milwaukee and has degrees from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Illinois, and Stanford. For many years, he was a professor of geophysics at Duke University. He lives in Northern California.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143126317
ISBN-10: 0143126318
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014
Pages: 366
Language: English