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The Other Einstein
by Marie Benedict


Overview -

One of PopSugar's "25 Books You're Going to Curl Up with this Fall."

" The Other Einstein takes you into Mileva's heart, mind, and study as she tries to forge a place for herself in a scientific world dominated by men."- Bustle

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs.  Read more...


 
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More About The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
 
 
 
Overview

One of PopSugar's "25 Books You're Going to Curl Up with this Fall."

"The Other Einstein takes you into Mileva's heart, mind, and study as she tries to forge a place for herself in a scientific world dominated by men."-Bustle

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781492637257
  • ISBN-10: 1492637254
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 304
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-01
  • Reviewer: Staff

Albert Einstein may not have been the only mastermind behind his groundbreaking ideas about relativity; it turns out the renowned theoretical physicist collaborated a great deal with his first wife, Mileva Maric´—a Serbian woman of modest means who was one of the few women to study math and science at the Zurich Polytechnic School where the two meet. In her compelling novel, Benedict shows how Mileva transforms from a sheltered girl into a personally and professionally fulfilled young woman as she meets other educated women like her in the Swiss boarding house near her school and, through her new acquaintance Albert Einstein, engages in theoretical discussions with male colleagues during which her intelligence is both admired and supported. But Albert and Mileva are a product of their times; the turn of the century wasn’t exactly a liberating time for women, and the self-centered Albert has no compunctions about deleting her name from papers they assiduously work on together. Their tenuous personal life (including a child he ignores), his affairs, and his insistence that his wife be more possession than spouse causes the marriage to implode. Did giving Mileva his Nobel Prize earnings assuage his guilt for her unacknowledged assistance and confirm her contribution to his work? Benedict makes a strong case that the brilliant woman behind him was integral to his success, and creates a rich historical portrait in the process. Agent: Laura Dail, Laura Dail Literary Agency. (Oct.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Telling her story, not his

I almost didn’t write The Other Einstein. The little-known story of Mileva Marić, who made a heroic ascent from the misogynistic backwater of 19th-century Eastern Europe to become one of Europe’s first female physicists, kept calling to me, begging to be written. But the tale necessarily involved a depiction of Albert Einstein, the fellow Zurich Polytechnic student who wooed Mileva for years before their marriage in 1903—and who wanted to face that hurdle?

The idea of writing about the so-called secular saint, who was chosen as the Person of the Century by Time magazine and galvanized not only science but also the cultural and political landscape with his genius, daunted me. Obviously. Not to mention that people hold many preconceptions about Albert Einstein, and I wasn’t certain that I wanted to challenge them with The Other Einstein

But then I realized that The Other Einstein wasn’t his story. It was her story. One that had been buried by time and prejudice and misconceptions. And I realized that I was honor-bound to excavate Mileva from the detritus of the past and share her with the world. 

So I faced my discomfort with writing about one of the world’s most famous figures head-on. I dove deep into the world of 19th-century science. I tried to immerse myself in whatever details I could cobble together about Mileva, a surprisingly challenging task given that she had been married to Einstein for 16 years. While countless tomes exist about him and his work, Mileva doesn’t figure prominently in many of them. 

Then I discovered Mileva’s letters. Written to family members, friends and, of course, Albert, those letters became my window into her life. They enabled me to imagine myself as the young Mileva. So tiny, her family joked that they needed to put stones in her pockets to keep the wind from blowing her away. So startlingly brilliant that her father fought against the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s laws preventing females from attending high school to secure her place in an all-male upper school. So different from all the other girls that she received the brunt of their youthful mockery. And so physically deformed in her hips that she believed no one would ever want to marry her.

In becoming Mileva, I began to see Albert Einstein through her eyes. He became a roguish, charismatic college student. He changed into a youthful, open-minded scientific partner and collaborator. He shined as a violinist who accompanied her singing with the gusto of a fellow musician. He transformed from a friend into a determined and ardent lover, who morphed again into a husband and father, bringing both tremendous joy and heartbreaking disappointment. 

No longer the wild-haired scientific icon, Albert Einstein became a person. Marvelous yet flawed, as all people are. This metamorphosis, achieved only after long months of research, freed me from my fears. And I was able to write about Albert as Mileva experienced him. 

But no matter how comfortable I became writing about Albert Einstein, The Other Einstein never became his story. It always remained hers.

 

Marie Benedict practiced law for more than 10 years before launching a career as a novelist. The Other Einstein is the first in a planned series telling the stories of women lost to history. Benedict, who has also published three thrillers as Heather Terrell, lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

 

This article was originally published in the November 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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