Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

The Tenth Muse

The Tenth Muse

The first thing I remember being said of me with any consistency was that I was intelligent – and I recognized even then that it was a comment leveled at me with as much disapproval as admiration. Still, I never tried to hide or suppress my mind as some girls do, and thank god, because that would have been the beginning of the end.

From childhood, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem to be. But in becoming a mathematician, she faces the most human of problems – who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition?

On her quest to conquer the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that holds both the lock and key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II. Forced to confront some of the biggest events of the twentieth century and rethink everything she knows of herself, Katherine strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics, reclaiming the voices of the women who came before her whose love of the language of numbers connects them across generations.

The Tenth Muse is a brilliant, involving novel asking questions about who gets to tell the story of intellectual endeavour, and those who lost everything during World War II.

Praise for The Tenth Muse
‘Arresting in scope and its treatment of time, its prose at turns crystalline and richly balletic, this story pulls puzzle from puzzle – human, historical and all too contemporary’ Helen Oyeyemi
Read More

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

On Sale: 6th June 2019

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781405544931

Reviews

Ambitious, mesmerizing, and immersive, The Tenth Muse gives us a character we'd follow anywhere, and journeys well worth following her on. This novel dazzles
Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers
Mathematics and its history, the legacy of WWII, and the struggles women face in pursuing academic success, especially in fields dominated by men, are woven into this novel that Chung (Forgotten Country, 2012) renders in polished prose
Booklist
Catherine Chung has written a deft, spellbinding emotional puzzle-box of a book, rich and intricately layered. The Tenth Muse slowly, carefully builds to turn your every expectation on its head, and reading it feels like a glimpse of what mathematics might be in the eyes of its ablest practitioners--both secret and sublime
Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2019 by Entertainment Weekly, The Rumpus and Buzzfeed
Reading The Tenth Muse is like setting out on a boat for a short trip and finding the way back barred by waves that grow taller and taller. And then the boat itself turns out to be a riddle; a paper boat, each leaf bound to the other with equations of fearsome beauty. Arresting in scope and its treatment of time, its prose at turns crystalline and richly balletic, this story pulls puzzle from puzzle--human, historical, and all too contemporary
Helen Oyeyemi, author of Gingerbread
Chung's impressive, poignant second novel explores the intersections between of intellectual and familial legacies...Chung persuasively interweaves myths and legends with the real-world stories of lesser-known women mathematicians and of WWII on both the European and Asian fronts. The legacy that Katherine inherits may defy the kinds of elegant proofs to which mathematicians aspire, but Chung's novel boldly illustrates that truth and beauty can reside even amid the messiest solutions
Publishers Weekly, starred review
The Tenth Muse centers on Katherine, an aspiring mathematician whose studies take her deep into her family history, and a legacy of genius and empowerment which probes compelling questions about her identity
Entertainment Weekly
The Tenth Muse is a must-read. This beautiful, captivating novel has it all: A riveting family secret; a heroine ahead of her time; and a brilliant historical narrative that sheds light on the way we live now
J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Saints for All Occasions
The Tenth Muse is as ambitious and intriguing as the complex math problems Katherine, the protagonist of this remarkable novel, aims to solve. In this novel -the scope of which is staggering - Chung has crafted a story that is moving, elegant and richly written. Her prose, as it unfolds, becomes an elusive equation readers will yearn to solve
Roxane Gay
A powerful and virtuosically researched story about the mysteries of the head and the heart
Kirkus, starred review
Catherine Chung's first book, Forgotten Country, cut my heart open; I want to read The Tenth Muse right now
R.O. Kwon