Here are the openings of various reviews.
Washington Post review by David Mason: Resonant Numbers: The story of an Indian math genius who dazzled Cambridge:
David Leavitt's intelligent, ambitious new novel based on historical fact begins in 1936 with an aging professor at a podium.
Wall Street Journal review by Salil Tripahi: A Beatiful Mind:
As the lights come on the stage, a woman writes complicated equations furiously on a board, taking her students into the deep waters of complex numbers. The symbols appear like ancient hieroglyphs to the uninitiated -- which includes many at the Barbican theater in London -- but there is a magical grace and charm about them.
The New York Times review by Nell Freudenberger: Lust for Numbers:
In the most common type of historical novel, invented characters inhabit a real place at a particular point in time. They may fight in the Civil War, or watch the Kennedy assassination on a black-and-white TV, but they live in an essentially separate space, and the author may decide which real events (if any) should touch their lives. The second type, rarer in so-called literary fiction, is a novel about people who really existed, recreated by an author who plays with the facts, and especially the intriguing lacunae, of their lives. “The Indian Clerk,” David Leavitt’s richly imagined seventh novel, is such a book, and for several reasons Leavitt is brave to attempt it.
Read the first chapter here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Indian-Clerk-Novel-David-Leavitt/dp/1596910402
Press release below, including contact information for the publicist. Post your comments below.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13th
Reading and signing
625 E. Central Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32801
Contact: Becky Dreisbach
Tel: (407) 650.8004
THE INDIAN CLERK: A Novel
By David Leavitt
September 14, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sara Mercurio
West Coast Publicity Director
sara.mercurio at bloomsburyusa.com
THE INDIAN CLERK
by DAVID LEAVITT
“The certainty attributed to mathematics is richly contrasted to the uncertainty of human relationships in Leavitt’s unusual and absorbing eighth novel...impressively researched, insistently readable and keenly sensitive...easily Leavitt’s best—and a heartening indication that [Leavitt] has reached a new level of artistic maturity.” —Kirkus
“Excellent…ambitious…highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred review
“Leavitt’s copiously researched new novel focuses on a relatively narrow world that he nevertheless illuminates into its deepest recesses...Leavitt explores the legend that grew up around Ramanujan, finds what is real in the myth that shrouded his actual being, and in the process reaches impressive heights of understanding the psyche of the intellectual as well as those who seek company with the brilliant-minded.” —Booklist
“Ambitious, erudite and well-sourced.” —Publishers Weekly
On a January morning in 1913, G. H. Hardy—a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, an eccentric, charismatic man, who, at thirty-five, is already considered the greatest British mathematician of his age—receives in the mail a brown envelope covered with Indian stamps. Inside he finds a rambling letter—accompanied by nine dense pages of mathematics—from a young Indian named Srinivasa Ramanujan, a clerk at the Madras Port Trust. Although almost entirely lacking in formal education, Ramanujan claims to have made “startling” breakthroughs in mathematics and hints that he is on the brink of solving the most important unsolved mathematical problem of all time. Some of his Cambridge colleagues dismiss the letter as a hoax, but there is something in the letter that compels Hardy to take it seriously. Aided by his collaborator, Littlewood, and a young don named Neville who is about to depart for Madras with his wife, Alice, he determines to learn more about the mysterious Ramanujan and, if possible, persuade him to come to Cambridge. It is a decision that will profoundly affect not only his own life, and that of his friends, but the entire history of mathematics.
Based on the remarkable true story of the strange and ultimately tragic relationship between a British, homosexual, left-leaning mathematician and an unknown genius who believed that a Hindu deity wrote mathematical formulae on his tongue, and populated with such luminaries such as D. H. Lawrence, Bertrand Russell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, THE INDIAN CLERK (Bloomsbury, September 14, 2007, $24.95, hardcover), by novelist David Leavitt, takes this extraordinary slice of history and transforms it into an emotional and spell-binding story.
David Leavitt is the author of several novels, including The Body of Jonah Boyd, While England Sleeps, and Equal Affections. A recipient of fellowships from both the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, he teaches at the University of Florida in Gainesville.