The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt

the indian clerkThe Indian Clerk tells the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, an Indian mathematical genius, and G.H. Hardy, the Cambridge professor who acts as his academic mentor.  When Hardy receives a mysterious letter from a self-taught mathematician that includes several ingenious and original equations, Hardy hurries to arrange his passage to England.  As Ramanujan’s genius blooms at Cambridge, he becomes the likely candidate to prove Riemann Hypothesis, which has confounded generations of mathematicians.  Set against the backdrop of World War I, The Indian Clerk‘s cast is populated with many historical figures, including D.H. Lawrence and Bertrand Russell.

“And then — conspicuous amid this stack of discreet, even tedious correspondence, lumbering and outsize and none too clean, like an immigrant just stepped off the boat after a very long third-class journey — there is the letter.  The envelope is brown, and covered with an array of unfamiliar stamps.  At first he wonders if it has been misdelivered, but the name written across the front in a precise hand, the sort of hand that would please a schoolmistress, that would please his sister, is his own: G. H. Hardy, Trinity College, Cambridge.”

David Leavitt is the author of The Indian Clerk, The Lost Language of Cranes, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and While England Sleeps, among others.  He teaches at the University of Florida and spends much of his time in Italy.

Published:  2007
Length:  485 pages
Set in:  England



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