Tag Archives: mathematics novels

Two Books re Death and Mathematics

I recently found myself reading two novels that deal with the subject of mathematicians. This happened quite accidentally. I read the first book, below, and had requested an e-book from my local library for the second book.

Within the pages of both books, individually, lies a story within a story. The books do not just deal with death and loss, but also the issue of problem-solving through the mathematics world. The problem-solving doesn’t end, there, as this reader found out. Ethics, greed, and inherited worth are all issues touched upon.

The Mathematician’s Shiva, by Stuart Rojstaczer, is an incredible story line, infused with the Jewish practice of sitting Shiva (meaning seven) for the seven days of mourning, after the burial of a first-degree relative.

The book depicts a deeper story than the death of a famed mathematician, a story of her involvement in solving one of the most hardest to solve mathematical problems. Mathematicians involve themselves in her Shiva, as a guise in order to search through everything possible to find the solution to the problem. Some believe she has taken it to her grave, some don’t.


The Goddess of Small Victories, by Yanneck Grannec is another novel that revolves around mathematics. A librarian, named Anna Roth, becomes involved with the widow of a renowned mathematician, in order to gain access to his documents.

Adele, the widow, is a bitter woman, and a woman not quick to reveal anything her husband left behind.

The relationship between Anna and Adele is explored. And, the premise of what the family of the deceased owes the world in general, as far as the holdings left behind, is also illuminated.


I hope to write a complete review for both books, eventually. But for now, I wanted to quickly present the two books recently read.

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