Women Making It Happen
The Tenth Muse
The Tenth Muse is an exhilarating, moving novel about a trailblazing mathematician whose research unearths her own extraordinary family story and its roots in World War II From the days of her childhood in the 1950s Midwest, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem. As she matures from a girl of rare intelligence into an exceptional mathematician, traveling to Europe to further her studies, she must face the most human of problems—who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition? These questions grow ever more entangled as Katherine strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics and becomes involved with a brilliant and charismatic professor. When she embarks on a quest to conquer the Riemann hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that may hold both the lock and the key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II. Forced to confront some of the most consequential events of the 20th century and rethink everything she knows of herself, she finds kinship in the stories of the women who came before her, and discovers how seemingly distant stories, lives, and ideas are inextricably linked to her own.
About the Author
Catherine Chung is the author of The Tenth Muse and Forgotten Country, for which she won an Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award. She has been a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, a Granta New Voice, a Director's Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize in poetry. She has a degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago and worked at a think tank in Santa Monica before receiving her MFA from Cornell University. She has published work in The New York Times and Granta, among others.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
"I am so delighted that The Tenth Muse has been chosen for the Silicon Valley Reads program, with its focus this year on women breaking gender barriers. To the extent that I meant The Tenth Muse to be both a chronicle of such women in history (particularly those working in STEM) as well as a contribution to the collective imagination around such women, I feel it couldn't be a more perfect fit, and I am beyond excited to get to be part of your community to talk with you about these things." - Catherine Chung