The Other Einstein

The Other Einstein

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
21
1
The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight. Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Landmark, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781492637257
1492637254
Branch Call Number: Fic Bene
Characteristics: 296 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
f
firebird770
May 09, 2019

So much potential in the woman who Einstein fell in love with. The author portrays Einstein as a manipulative person who does not give up until he has succeeded in sucking all the intelligence out of this woman and leaving her with vapours of what might have been. Heartwrenching in many ways. A quick read, and fascinating throughout.

c
cindiet
Apr 25, 2019

recommended by Trudy

r
ryner
Mar 26, 2019

As a young man, well before he moved to the United States in 1940, Albert Einstein was married to a woman whose intelligence rivaled his own, and who was quite possibly a collaborator on his infamous 1905 paper on special relativity. After researching the couple through many books, articles, and personal letters, author Marie Benedict presents here a fictionalized account of the life of Mileva Marić, Albert Einstein's first wife, which will completely change the way you think about Einstein himself.

The writing came across as somewhat heavy-handed, and at times I found myself wishing it were a bit more subtle or nuanced. Her story has just recently been made into a National Geographic production, but I have to admit I was unaware of Mileva's existence prior to hearing about this book. It's satisfying that she's receiving some well-deserved attention, albeit via a work of fiction, but at the same time I'm disappointed that I feel so disillusioned now about Albert Einstein as a human being. I selected this title as a facilitator of a senior book group and, interestingly, learned that it was not news to the women of previous generations that Einstein was a well-known philanderer. I myself have considerable difficulty conjuring up an image of this wild-haired cultural icon as a flirtatious young man.

l
lilypad_1
Mar 13, 2019

This is the first thing I have read about Einstein and his brilliant wife, I had no idea she was a genius and am so disheartened that she was completely sidelined after their marriage. I always think how lucky I am to have been born in the current time and place after I read about women's lives in history. I would love to know more about her but I guess we never will. This would be a good young adult book I think, it would be so inspirational for girls who want to go into the STEM arena. I could hardly put it down, I know some of it was fiction but knowing the mores of the time and place I am sure she had no rights as a woman and am surprised she even got a settlement at the end of their marriage.
Have read other books of this author and hopes she writes more.

I loved this book- learned about a women who was never given credit for her brilliance.
C. McRae

m
maipenrai
Jul 11, 2018

Although one can never know the truth of a marriage especially through a novel, this book did not leave me with a very unfavorable opinion of Mr. Einstein. If he truly claimed his wife's seminal paper on relativity as his own and accepted the Nobel prize for it, I would have kicked his a(**) to the side in a big hurry. The reader, however, has to keep in mind the era and the vulnerability of women, so compromise and a lot of tongue biting resulted. I found the book very readable and now want to read more biographical information to attempt to evaluate the "truth" better. Recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby

j
jstalmer
Apr 27, 2018

I enjoyed reading this story because it's specific yet universal. The words used to tell this story may not have been poetic, but the feeling I had after reading it was.

I've had a special fondness for Einstein for as long as I can recall. I was enamored with his philosophy long before his science. So while I was excited to read this book, I didn't look forward to a "me too" narrative about Einstein.

Having said that, I have always been curious to know more about women in history, as they have mostly been treated as side dishes to the main course of the men in their lives.

The book starts with Mileva's (future Mrs. Einstein) first day of her education at a university in Zurich where she first meets her classmate, Albert Einstein. They both had selected to attend one of the few universities in Europe that granted women degrees.

The story is told from the first person so it has the feeling of being there versus looking back.

There was something wonderful about reading about a woman going against convention, though as she meets Einstein, just another student, we are reminded that for all her smarts and courage to rage against the machine, she will be relegated to the fate of a second class citizen and the back seat of history, forever overshadowed by her famous husband.

Having said that, I relished Einstein showing up in the book as I've always felt he was a kindred spirit.

As the story moved along, it was disturbing how sidelined she was in her husband's meteoric rise. It's believable that she may have had something to do with Einstein's discoveries. It's also believable that the work would not have been taken seriously with a woman's name attached. Even Mary Shelly's famous tale was thought to be the work of a man because it was unthinkable that a woman could have written it. Even today, she has the qualifier "woman" in front of her accomplishments.

One could almost wonder if Einstein hadn't married her, if he would have had his breakthrough. We know he partnered with other mathematicians so it's feasible that she would have at minimum helped him there. It's also feasible she had ideas and at minimum may have had a significant impact on his thought experiments. Or his whole talk of thought experiments could have been a cover for not being able to show his work.

I revere Einstein and I know this is a novel and not a biography, yet I thought it important to step into the protagonist's shoes. There was nothing that seemed impossible but there are some things we'll never know for sure. There is no mistake Einstein was a genius, but is it so hard to believe that she was too? Is it even harder to believe she might have been more of a genius than him? I'm not saying she was, but what if? What if she coauthored his important papers, the ones that made him world famous, only to be edited out of history? Though let's say it was all her, if she had submitted anything for publication she likely would have been challenged and it would have been assumed that she couldn't have discovered anything for no other reason but that she was a woman.

In the end, the loss feels huge. She was marking her own path and gave that up for a man. Though, to find a partner that you could share your passion with has to be wonderful. I felt sad for what might have been but who knows, I mean, the hurdles any woman in a man's world would have to jump through, just to be treated unequally, were - and still are sometimes - brutal.

I still adore Einstein, but this story is a sober reminder that no one is without flaws and we shouldn't expect anyone to be. Einstein was a genius but he was also just a man in a man's world likely with misogynistic tendencies like most men of his time and still too many today.

m
MHanover10
Apr 13, 2018

This is about Mileva Maric, the only female to study physics at Polytechnic University in Zurich. Women at university just wasn't a thing back then. Her father had to petition to get her into the program. This is where she met Albert Einstein. We learn that it was her idea about the theory of relativity yet she didn't get credit for any of the collaborations she had with Albert. She should have been the one to win the Noble Peace Prize. She never got the acknowledgement for how much she contributed to his papers. He was a selfish man and I believe he was jealous of Mileva that she seemed to have been a better physicists than him. Too bad she wasn't born later when she probably would have received the acknowledgements she deserved. Marie Benedict does a great job of bringing these characters to life and shining a light on Mileva's life and her struggles.

ArapahoeKathy Mar 29, 2018

One of my all time favorite books.

o
orange_lobster_23
Mar 16, 2018

This fictionalized version of Mileva's and Albert's Einsteins life together is a good read. women Certainly the sacrifices women had to endure, academically, professionally
expectation wise, as well as having few economic choices is totally credible. Any devoted listener to Science Friday has heard the plethora of stories of women being dissuaded and
unrecognized in STEM fields. Mileva's role in conceptualizing the theory of relativity is
disputed. This book inspires reading of Walter Isaacson's Einstein biography.

View All Comments

Notices

Add Notices
t
thai
Sep 27, 2017

Other: Masquerades as researched - beware this is fiction!

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at STPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top