31. October 2014 · Comments Off on Review of The Mathematician’s Shiva in the NYTBR · Categories: Math Shiva News

In the print version, my book is below a picture of a woman with tomatoes on her head. Fortunately, there are no rotten tomatoes in the review!

By Stuart Rojstaczer
Penguin, paper, $16.
Rojstaczer’s first novel and its narrator — the atmospheric scientist Alexander Karnokovitch, known as Sasha — are also haunted by the newly dead: Sasha’s mother, Rachela, who dies of cancer at the novel’s opening. Rachela was a world-famous mathematician, and so her shiva is attended not only by family and friends but also by her fellow mathematicians, who descend upon Madison, Wis., partly to discover if Rachela has left behind the lucrative solution to the (real-life) Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize problem. This is a full — sometimes overfull — novel, but you can never really complain about a book being too alive, too curious, too alert, too true to itself. Sasha is the key: Not only does he have a fine, self-deprecating sense of humor, he’s also allowed his humanizing flaws. The first time he meets his long-lost daughter and granddaughter, for instance, his response is unsentimental and decidedly non-paternal: “My daughter’s name was Andrea. My granddaughter was Amy. Pleasant names both. Easy to pronounce.” The novel works for the same reason the humor does: It is smart, and brutally honest. Late in the narrative, as the shiva winds down and the visiting mathematicians make one last brainy sprint to discover the solution to the famous math problem, Sasha rants about how Americans treat any show of intelligence as a display of bad taste. If he’s right — and he is — then “The Mathematician’s Shiva” is in very bad taste, and all the better for it.

Brock Clarke

24. October 2014 · Comments Off on The Mathematician’s Shiva Gets A Rave Review in the NYT · Categories: Math Shiva News

It’ll be in the NYT Book Review on November 2nd. I’ll post it then and I’m grateful beyond words.

16. October 2014 · Comments Off on TMS is back in the ABA Top 50 · Categories: Math Shiva News

Truly unexpected, unlikely and amazing. It’s been in the top 50 for four out of the last five weeks.

09. October 2014 · Comments Off on TMS is back on the SF Chronicle / NCIBA bestseller list · Categories: Math Shiva News

You can find the list here. Amazing stuff for a debut novel about a bunch of crazy emigre mathematicians sitting around and talking for seven days.

07. October 2014 · Comments Off on A country where students do well in math · Categories: Math Shiva News

is also a country that loves The Mathematician’s Shiva. Well, at least its major newspaper does. Singapore’s The Straits Times gives TMS four and a half stars and says, “[The] writing is witty with insightful commentary…. His characters are well-developed, and they remain very much alive in my mind, days after finishing the book.” Thank you!

02. October 2014 · Comments Off on The Mathematician’s Shiva is Books-A-Million’s Literary Book Club · Categories: Math Shiva News

pick for December. The book will be featured in their stores for the next three months. Thank you!

01. October 2014 · Comments Off on My interview with the Jewish Book Council · Categories: Math Shiva News

about The Mathematician’s Shiva is here. I get something different from the typical questions thrown my way, which I’m guessing is because the interviewer is a scientist by training. The interview will be in Jewish Book World’s next issue.

Also Library Journal gives some love to a bunch of first novels, including The Mathematician’s Shiva, here.