a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Suitable Boy (1993)
Vikram Seth

Sometimes referred to as the longest published English novel, this book about a mother's search for a husband for her daughter in post-colonial India has enough pages to devote a few to mathematics. And, as Fr. Joseph from the math department at Christ University in Bangalore has written to say, it apparently does:

Contributed by Fr. Joseph Varghese Kureethara

Vikram Seth's novel "A Suitable Boy" has two characters, a Mathematics Professor Dr Durrani and young Bhaskar. The name Bhaskar itself is after the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskara. There are many references of Mathematics in the novel. I am listing the pages where I could find them, and this is not exhaustive.

  • 45
  • 46
  • 101
  • 171
  • 191 and 601
  • 193
  • 208
  • 211
  • 212
  • 222
  • 223
  • 595
  • 745
  • 833

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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 A Suitable Boy
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The City of Devi by Manil Suri
  2. A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri / Hartosh Singh Bal
  3. The Capacity for Infinite Happiness by Alexis von Konigslow
  4. The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung
  5. A Universe of Sufficient Size by Miriam Sved
  6. Miss Havilland by Gay Daly
  7. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  8. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard
  9. The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason
  10. The Wild Numbers by Philibert Schogt
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GenreHistorical Fiction,
MotifRomance, Religion,

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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)