Starting with the elegance of mathematics, here is an article the followers of mathematics will like—the true patrons of mathematics see its reality in the deep-seated concepts.
At the Book Expo America in Chicago this year, as I explored flamboyant publishing setups and flashy book banners, an interesting title The Other Einstein caught my attention, and I was pulled in. After noting that the title refers to Einstein’s wife Mitza Maric as the other Einstein, and that the story narrates of her own potentials in understanding the ways of spacetime that Albert Einstein set forth, I became somewhat curious. I decided to meet up with the author. Even though the book itself is a novel, for it touches spotless territory of spacetime that Einstein established, the story can be seen as rather bold. Anyway, there I was, inquisitive enough to get a copy.
As I was handed a copy, I spoke briefly with the author on fictionalizing a landscape that is so firmly established and deeply revered, by scientists and laymen alike. The author had her takes on it for the extent of fictionalization, and I was curious enough to give it a try. Fiction isn’t my usual read. Barring a very few known titles, like by Paulo Coelho for instance, I haven’t read much in current fiction. As I said The Other Einstein drew me in, first to just get a copy at the BEA, and then to read it, for the obvious reason. Not only do I have a background in physics, I am an ardent proponent of physics and mathematics for exposing the reality we live in. And for these reasons I am deeply aware of Einstein’s contributions and his legacy, so much so that for me to see that his special relativity theory is referred as being conceived by someone else—even in fiction—seems almost sacrilegious. Having said that, the story is crafted well, and once I started it I was hooked to finish. If the aim was to formulate a page-turner, the title has it.
For us scientists it might have been nicer if the extent of fictionalization was in some way hinted. To the author’s acknowledgement, this fiction weaved some of the real historical bits—time, space etc. Author’s efforts in assimilating Einstein’s theories, and the scientific structures on which they rest, as it’s penned in the fabric of storyline, is certainly appreciable.
But the aficionados of pure physics/mathematics, or the sincere advocates of Einstein’s efforts, aren’t probably its best readership target.
See you all soon,