a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Hill on the Dark Side of the Moon (1983)
Lennart Hjulström

A Swedish film about the life of Sonia Kovalevsky. The title refers, apparently, to a site on the moon which was actually named in her honor. The film tends to avoid the mathematics (for example, melodramatic music drowns out her voice in those scenes where she is supposed to be lecturing), focusing instead on her love affair with Maxim Kovalevsky, the Russian playboy she met in Stockholm who just happened to have the same last name as her late husband.

For other fictionalized accounts of her life, see here and here.

Contributed by Alejandro Martin

The movie is not centered in the math but in the character of Sonia, her depressions and her tragic and passionate love story. But it is a movie about a woman matematician in the XIX century and is very interesting to see how difficult it could be. It develops in a delicate way the tension between women and mathematics. Follows carefully her unstable state of mind and how it was mixed with her mathematical creativity and her emotional difficulties.

(Many matematicians appear in the movie, the most famous: Weierstrass.)

More information about this work can be found at
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Works Similar to A Hill on the Dark Side of the Moon
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
  2. Beyond the Limit: The Dream of Sofya Kovalevskaya by Joan Spicci
  3. Infinity by Patricia Broderick
  4. D'Alembert's Principle: A Novel in Three Panels by Andrew Crumey
  5. The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer
  6. Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
  7. Two Moons by Thomas Mallon
  8. Mrs. Einstein by Anna McGrail
  9. Conceiving Ada by Lynn Hershman-Leeson
  10. Hypatia by Mac Wellman
Ratings for A Hill on the Dark Side of the Moon:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
3/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreHistorical Fiction,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Female Mathematicians, Romance,

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May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)