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The Indian Clerk

New or Used: 2 copies from US$24.77
New or Used: 2 copies from US$24.77

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STEPHEN FRY is writing the screenplay and SCOTT RUDIN is producing the film for MIRAMAX. Filming will begin next year. For fans of Proof by David Auburn, Possession by A.S Byatt and A Beautiful Mind (film starring Russell Crowe).

About the Author

David Leavitt is the author of several novels including The Lost Language of Cranes, three story collections and, most recently, The Body of Jonah Boyd. He lives in Gainesville and teaches at the University of Florida.


Set at Cambridge University in the early 20th century, this ambitious new historical novel from the author of The Lost Language of Cranes is based on the life of English mathematician G.H. Hardy and his partnership with the self-taught Indian genius Ramanujan, whom Hardy was instrumental in bringing to England. Although Leavitt has written with a very literate reader in mind and has clearly done his math homework, it is not necessary to know anything about the featured Reimann hypothesis to enjoy this excellent book. Among the many themes explored here are the conflict between scientific rationalism and ancient religious traditions, the terrible culture shock Indians felt in England 100 years ago, the disastrous effect the Great War had on life in Cambridge, and, most of all, the frailty of human relationships. Highly recommended for all academic libraries and also suggested for larger public collections.-Leslie Patterson, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Ambitious, erudite and well-sourced, Leavitt's 12th work of fiction centers on the relationship between mathematicians G.H. Hardy (1877-1947) and Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920). In January of 1913, Cambridge-based Hardy receives a nine-page letter filled with prime number theorems from S. Ramanujan, a young accounts clerk in Madras. Intrigued, Hardy consults his colleague and collaborator, J.E. Littlewood; the two soon decide Ramanujan is a mathematical genius and that he should emigrate to Cambridge to work with them. Hardy recruits the young, eager don, Eric Neville, and his wife, Alice, to travel to India and expedite Ramanujan's arrival; Alice's changing affections, WWI and Ramanujan's enigmatic ailments add obstacles. Meanwhile, Hardy, a reclusive scholar and closeted homosexual, narrates a second story line cast as a series of 1936 Harvard lectures, some of them imagined. Ramanujan comes to renown as the "the Hindu calculator"; discussions of mathematics and bits of Cambridge's often risque academic culture (including D.H. Lawrence's 1915 visit) add authenticity. Hardy is hardly likable, however, and Leavitt (While England Sleeps, etc.) packs too much into the epic-length proceedings, at the expense of pace. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Mathematics and its paradoxes provide a deep vein of metaphor that Leavitt uses to superb effect, demonstrating how the most meaningful relationships can defy both logic and imagination." -- "The New Yorker""Leavitt, a fine writer, has captured not just the complex nature of their partnership, but also a sense of the context: In his telling, England at the turn of the 20th century fits the phrase he uses to describe a particular boarding house, as "a room grown stale from its own protection." But beneath the surface of this story lurk issues that feel as fresh as today's news. Most importantly, the novel addresses the clash of cultures as Britain's empire-building came home to roost. "--"Seattle Times" "Ambitious, meaty, extensively researched...[a] richly layered, rueful portrait...Leavitt has tapped into marvelous material...stimulating and refreshingly original." -- "San Francisco Chronicle""This novel is brilliant. It is a beautiful and creative work that manages to portray a melange of the literary, historical, romantic and academic, with breathtaking prose and deeply nuanced characters."--"Pittsburg Post-Gazette""Fascinating...Leavitt makes the math of prime numbers surprisingly palatable. But we learn more about the complexities of love and work, and their interaction. In Hardy, Leavitt has created a rich character for the reader to care about." -- "Boston Globe""[E]rudite and well researched, and Leavitt writes about pure mathematics in a way that won't utterly baffle those of us who didn't get beyond pre-calculus in high school ." --"Christian Science Monitor""In the most common type of historical novel, invented characters inhabit a real place at a particular point in time...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 no

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