a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Idiot (2017)
Elif Batuman

A farce about a Turkish-American Harvard freshman. As she is trying to figure out who she is and what academia is about, she meets an older math major with whom she develops both a romantic and intellectual relationship. Along the way, she attends some math classes (a multivariable calculus class with a pre-med friend and a set theory class that she registers for out of curiosity) and ponders Nabokov's comments on the reason that math is useful.

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Works Similar to The Idiot
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Goldman's Theorem by R.J. Stern
  2. The Visiting Professor by Robert Littell
  3. The Mind-Body Problem by Rebecca Goldstein
  4. Problems for Self-Study by Charles Yu
  5. Naked Came the Post-modernist by Sarah Lawrence College Writing Class WRIT-3303-R / Melvin Jules Bukiet
  6. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  7. Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich
  8. The Argentine Ant by T.C. Boyle
  9. A Good Problem to Have by B.J. Novak
  10. What the Revolution Requires by Timons Esaias
Ratings for The Idiot:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

MotifAcademia, Romance,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)