Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature

Hart, Sarah


1 in stock

1 in stock

‘A hugely entertaining and well-written tour of the links between math and literature. Hart’s lightness of touch and passion for both subjects make this book a delight to read. Bookworms and number-lovers alike will discover much they didn’t know about the creative interplay between stories, structure and sums.’ – Alex Bellos
‘This exuberant book will educate, amuse and surprise. It might even add another dimension to the way you read.’ – The Sunday Times

We often think of mathematics and literature as polar opposites. But what if, instead, they were fundamentally linked? In this insightful, laugh-out-loud funny book, Once Upon a Prime, Professor Sarah Hart shows us the myriad connections between maths and literature, and how understanding those connections can enhance our enjoyment of both.

Did you know, for instance, that Moby-Dick is full of sophisticated geometry? That James Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness novels are deliberately checkered with mathematical references? That George Eliot was obsessed with statistics? That Jurassic Park is undergirded by fractal patterns? That Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote mathematician characters?

From sonnets to fairytales to experimental French literature, Once Upon a Prime takes us on an unforgettable journey through the books we thought we knew, revealing new layers of beauty and wonder. Professor Hart shows how maths and literature are complementary parts of the same quest, to understand human life and our place in the universe.

Positive Jordan Ellenberg,
The New York Times Book Review
Wide-ranging and thoroughly winning … Hart is biting and funny in her critique of this too-common literary depiction of the mathematical mind … That, in the end, is Hart’s message: that here in the third dimension, people are pretty much alike, and strive for beauty and meaning in similar ways whether they’re finding those things in words or sounds or equations.

Format: Hardback
Pages: 304
Imprint: Mudlark (Harper Collins)
Publication date: 13/04/2023

ISBN: 9780008601089 Categories: ,