When the greatest female mathematician in history passes away, her son, Alexander “Sasha” Karnokovitch, just wants to mourn his mother in peace. But rumor has it the notoriously eccentric Polish émigré has solved one of the most difficult problems in all of mathematics, and has spitefully taken the solution to her grave. As a ragtag group of mathematicians from around the world descends upon Rachela’s shiva, determined to find the proof or solve it for themselves—even if it means prying up the floorboards for notes or desperately scrutinizing the mutterings of her African Grey parrot—Sasha must come to terms with his mother’s outsized influence on his life.
Spanning decades and continents, from a crowded living room in Madison, Wisconsin, to the windswept beach on the Barents Sea where a young Rachela had her first mathematical breakthrough, The Mathematician’s Shiva is an unexpectedly moving and uproariously funny novel that captures humanity’s drive not just to survive, but to achieve the impossible.
Read an interview with the author HERE.
Listen to a radio interview HERE.
Read "A Scientist Makes Art" by the author HERE.
Comedy Trumps Tragedy: A conversation with Stuart Rojstaczer, author of The Mathematician's Shiva
Praise for the Book:
“A hugely entertaining debut.”~Publishers Weekly
“An enjoyable debut…distinguished by a fluid, lyrical style.”
“There are rock stars; then there are math stars. Apparently, both have their groupies, and this debut novel may win Rojstaczer a few….[His] tale maintains a satisfying balance between humor and warmth.”~Booklist
“[Rojstaczer] has created a complex and chaotic rainbow of characters that makes his first novel both comedic and compelling.”~Library Journal
“Stuart Rojstaczer writes with enormous wit, style and empathy, and The Mathematician’s Shiva is a big-hearted, rollickingly funny novel that’s impossible to put down. A tremendous debut.”–Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
“I love The Mathematician’s Shiva. Who else will love it? Anyone who knows the manic world of the intellectually obsessed that Rojstaczer so perfectly captures, and anyone who loves dialogue that sparkles with wit, characters full of quirks and pathos, and a plot that fluctuates between hilarity and heartbreak.”
–Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex