Catherine Chung at Harvard Book Store

Friday, June 21, 2019 7:00pm

Harvard Book Store welcomes critically acclaimed writer CATHERINE CHUNG—author of Forgotten Country—for a discussion of her new novel, The Tenth Muse. She will be joined in conversation by award-winning writer and educator RITA ZOEY CHIN, author of Let the Tornado Come.

About The Tenth Muse

From childhood, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem to be. But in becoming a mathematician, she must face the most human of problems—who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition? On her quest to conquer the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that holds both the lock and key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II in Germany.

Forced to confront some of the most consequential events of the twentieth century and rethink everything she knows of herself, she strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics and finds kinship in the stories of the women who came before her—their love of the language of numbers connecting them across generations. In The Tenth Muse, Catherine Chung offers a gorgeous, sweeping tale about legacy, identity, and the beautiful ways the mind can make us free.

Praise for The Tenth Muse

"Reading The Tenth Muse is like setting out on a boat for a short trip and finding the way back barred by waves that grow taller and taller. And then the boat itself turns out to be a riddle; a paper boat, each leaf bound to the other with equations of fearsome beauty. Arresting in scope and its treatment of time, its prose at turns crystalline and richly balletic, this story pulls puzzle from puzzle—human, historical, and all too contemporary." —Helen Oyeyemi, author of Boy, Snow, Bird and What is Not Yours Is Not Yours

"Catherine Chung has written a deft, spellbinding emotional puzzle-box of a book, rich and intricately layered. The Tenth Muse slowly, carefully builds to turn your every expectation on its head, and reading it feels like a glimpse of what mathematics might be in the eyes of its ablest practitioners—both secret and sublime." —Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife

“A powerful and virtuosically researched story about the mysteries of the head and the heart.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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