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Publisher's Summary

A recommended book of 2019 from:
Buzzfeed
The Rumpus
Entertainment Weekly

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 must face 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 in Germany. Forced to confront some of the most consequential events of the 20th century and rethink everything she knows of herself, she strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics and finds kinship in the stories of the women who came before her - their love of the language of numbers connecting them across generations.

In The Tenth Muse, Catherine Chung offers a gorgeous, sweeping tale about legacy, identity, and the beautiful ways the mind can make us free.

©2019 Catherine Chung (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about The Tenth Muse

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating and beautiful

I hate spoilers in reviews, so none here! From the very beginning, Katherine's story took hold of me. But by the time she was in grad school & subsequently went to Germany, I could not stop or put it down! I had both the kindle version AND the audible version so every time I got in the car or went for a walk or was working around the house, I listened; sometimes I could not listen (quiet environment) but could read, so I alternated going back and forth between written word and audible. I very much enjoyed the narrator, her voice was easy to listen to and follow. I sped it up just slightly, to 1.05. Highly engaging, creative, interesting, flecked with historical fact, I really loved The Tenth Muse and HIGHLY recommend it! Catherine Chung is a wonderful writer; I plan to pick up her other book now too!

13 people found this helpful

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Now I see why EVERYONE talks about this book!

A truly unique story told about a common problem (prejudice) in an uncommon way. Written with gloriously adept use of poetic prose and fabulous treatment of setting and literary tools like foreshadowing and suspense. I rarely rave about a novel. Wow.

9 people found this helpful

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Who knew math was so fascinating?

This was an interesting story well told, with skilled jumps between time periods and just the right amount of science and historical insertions. The many difficult aspects of being asian, female and a mathemetician were well-flushed out. I thought the personal relationships were a bit cliche, but overall the book was very attention grabbing to the very end

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing

One of the best books I read recently. Amazing story that is beautifully told and very pleasant narration. Will buy more books by this author.

5 people found this helpful

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Engrossing

Such a good author. Read it for several hours before having to google whether or not it was true.

3 people found this helpful

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Intriguing story

You don’t need to be a math major to enjoy the story in this book. Once you get past the first chapter or so, the story really picks up and drags you in. Loved the twists and turns in all of the characters lives.

2 people found this helpful

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FANTASTIC!!!

Wow! What a great story The Tenth Muse is. Not knowing the author I bought it because I like the narrator and once started I went through it in one take. The outline is different, the characters are well defined and very likable, the inclusion of snippets of real-life people in some parts gives the fiction an air of truth making it quite interesting. It made me laugh, think, stand in awe, and even shed a tear or two. This was a very good book for me!

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating story

Glimpses into the world of mathematics.. main character very vulnerable and human. Sense of place from Germany to Michigan, to Chicago wonderful.. very complex and satisfying novel

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

I’ve read hundreds of period pieces. This is easily now in my top five. The story will stay with you and you will savor it.

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Not my cup of tea

I can see why Oprah recommended this book and the appeal it could have for others. For me, it held my attention, but nothing ever really happens. Sure, the narrator learns the backstories of many people in her life. And so? I was very glad to reach the end of this book.