A brilliant and gripping novel about a young woman's gift for mathematics, and the secret of her past bound up in World War II.
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
In Forgotten Country, Catherine Chung tells an inexpressibly beautiful story about a Korean family with a complex history...The story builds quietly, meticulously, and Chung does a masterful job of weaving the past with the present, incorporating mythology and memory in ways that both captivate and haunt - Roxane Gay, praise for Forgotten Country
A richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one - Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild, praise for Forgotten Country
Poetically crafted, shimmering with hard-won emotion, and wholly absorbing. A superb performance - Chang-rae Lee, praise for Forgotten Country
A moving and deeply personal story of a family caught between two very different countries and very different lives - Alison Lurie, praise for Forgotten Country
[An]...unflinchingly honest examination of grief, anger, familial obligation, and love - The New Yorker, praise for Forgotten Country
In her gorgeous debut, Chung offers a heartbreaking story about sisters, family, and keeping traditions alive - People magazine, praise for Forgotten Country
Chung indelibly portays a Korea viciously divided, but ever bound to history, myth, and hope - O, The Oprah Magazine, praise for Forgotten Country
Catherine Chung is the author of The Tenth Muse and Forgotten Country, for which she won an Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award. She has been a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, a Granta New Voice and a Director's Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and was the recipient of a Dorthy Sargent Rosenberg Prize in poetry. She has a degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and worked at a think tank in Santa Monica before receiving her MFA from Cornell University. She has published work in the New York Times and Granta, and is a fiction editor at Guernica Magazine. She lives in New York City.