MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Strike Your Heart (2017)
Amélie Nothomb
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This French novel is primarily about jealousy and how it poisons relationships between women. However, one recurring minor character is a Fields medalist working in topology. Like many mathematicians in fiction, he is portrayed as being cold, anti-social, and a bad parent. (Though, to be fair, the cardiologists who are the main characters in the book are also portrayed negatively.)

FWIW The mathematician has an unusual way of doing research:

(quoted from Strike Your Heart)

After dinner, as Stanislas was leaving the room, his wife called out, "Don't work too late, darling." When she saw that Diane was giving her a puzzled look, Olivia added, "Did you see him lying on his bed staring at the ceiling with his eyes wide open? That's how he does his research in topology. He gets up for four minutes a day to write down his thoughts on a piece of paper. Impressive, isn't it?"

Thanks to Lauren Tubbs and Andrew Przeworski for letting me know about this book.

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(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Strike Your Heart
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. A Doubter's Almanac by Ethan Canin
  2. Lean Your Loneliness Slowly Against Mine [Lene din ensomhet langsomt mot min] by Klara Hveberg
  3. Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby
  4. The Embalmer's Book of Recipes by Ann Lingard
  5. The Solitude of Prime Numbers [La Solitudine dei Numeri Primi] by Paolo Giordano
  6. Orpheus Lost: A Novel by Janette Turner Hospital
  7. Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
  8. Leeches by David Albahari
  9. Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins
  10. The Distant Dead by Heather Young
Ratings for Strike Your Heart:
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
Genre
MotifAnti-social Mathematicians, Academia,
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry,
MediumNovels,

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Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)