The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer
Written by a Ph.D. geophysicist, this hilarious and multi-layered debut novel brims with colorful characters and brilliantly captures humanity’s drive not just to survive, but to solve the impossible.
Like the rest of the world, Alexander “Sasha” Karnokovitch is devastated when his mother Rachela, a renowned mathematician, dies of cancer.
Rumor has it that Rachela has not only solved the million-dollar Navier-Stokes Millennium Prize problem, but she’s also taken the highly sought-after information with her to the grave for reasons no one can understand. Outsiders come looking for answers, including an unhinged Rachela fanatic and, with Sasha’s reluctant permission, a subset of (ostensibly more sane) visiting mourners. Crashing the shiva and setting up camp in Rachela’s house, their mission is simple: to either find the missing proof or do whatever it takes to solve it themselves. Holding séances, ripping up floorboards, skiing across Wisconsin’s frigid countryside, and translating Rachela’s forty-year-old parrot Pascha’s Polish squawks, the team of brilliant social misfits will stop at nothing in their quest.