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Leaning Towards Infinity

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  113 ratings  ·  11 reviews
"This is not my story. It is the story of Frances Montrose, an Australian woman with no formal mathematics training who carried across the world, in a borrowed suitcase bulging with a friend's balldresses, something no one knew about. The discovery of a new number.

"I can barely add up so I can't tell you much about her mathematics. Only to say she was a genius. And she was
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Published (first published 1996)
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35th out of 145 books — 38 voters
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Community Reviews

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Maggie Emmett
I am jumping out of the text into Maths on line... Fibonacci,Art & Maths, and thinking.
I know I'm reading this so late, everyone read it years ago. But I am deliberately going slow, I have to, it is compelling stuff!

Well finally I have finished it and I really enjoyed the amatuer mathmetician Frances on her journey to present her mother's work to the world. But it is more about her family, before and after Frances and their relationships and patterns. It is about women and their need to go b
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Rebecca
Leaning Towards Infinity was definitely a strange read, and probably not one that I would have ever picked up on my own (it was a recommendation from a uni friend), but I enjoyed all the same. The story focuses on amateur mathematical theorist, Frances Montrose, as she works hard to present the completion of her mother’s work at a convention, faces academic snobbery and her own insecurities. While the story is interesting, and you can really identify with her struggles, it is how the book is wri ...more
Monic
I picked this up on a recommendation from another Australian writer and it was fantastic. Deep and emotional and messy and feminine and powerful. And really great analysis of the psychology of math and mathematicians.
Jim
A beautifully written, engaging story with an interesting structure . . . a daughter seeks to conclude her mother's (and grandmother's) mathematical legacy, whilst resolving intra-family secrets in the process.

Took a bit of effort to begin with (but I would encourage the reader to stick with it, after all, the journey is as much fun as the destination) for the resolution is worthy of your time.
Steve
A demanding, but very rewarding exploration of the destructiveness of unrecognised genius, through the lives of three generations of women. The mother is on the verge of discovering a new form of mathematics, but is driven mad by social isolation and betrayal. The narrator, her daughter, attempts to piece together her work. Meanwhile, her daughter is trying to get her attention ... A stunning novel.
Judith
Jun 17, 2008 Judith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Judith by: Rineke
I love this book on mathematics, women in a men's world, and motherhood. If you think social psychology conferences are bad, think again! Dear male pigs in academia. If there is only one woman at your conference, this is no invitation to repeatedly knock on her door in the middle of the night, forcing her to change hotels.
Caroline Gordon
Great to read a novel taking on the topic of maths and mathematicians. Really enjoyed this one, the structure of the novel is something really unique with many strands seeming to wind to towards each other.
Lisa
My husband bought this for me (for the naked woman I'm sure). It is one of the most beautiful books I have every ready. I loved the hypnotising mathematics.
Adrienne Tommy
Interesting but my attention wandered occasionally. Quite innovative though to invent a story on female mathematical genius, which surely must be a first!
Ann
I've read the dutch translation years ago
Isobelle Carmody
Beautiful, delicate, intelligent book
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Sue Woolfe has worked as a teacher, scriptwriter, TV subtitle editor, documentary maker and cook. She is the author of the bestselling novel about mathematics and motherhood, Leaning Towards Infinity, published in five countries and won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in 1996 and was shortlisted for many other prizes, including the Commonwealth Prize and the prestigious US TipTree Prize. She ...more
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