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. Uniform Convergence: A One-Woman Play by Corrine Yap
  4. D'Alembert's Principle: A Novel in Three Panels by Andrew Crumey
  5. Infinity by Patricia Broderick
  6. Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace by Jennifer Chiaverini
  7. Mattemorden by Alexander Barth / Gustav Öhman Spjuth
  8. The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer
  9. Miss Havilland by Gay Daly
  10. Conceiving Ada by Lynn Hershman-Leeson
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, Sonya Kovalevskaya,

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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)