a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Legacy of Light (2009)
Karen Zacarías

Two tales of discovery and pregnancy are told in this play. An astrophysicist at the Newton Institute whose team has discovered evidence of a planet in formation feels that she is too old to be pregnant and so hires a woman to be surrogate mother to her child. Intertwined with this modern tale we see the true story of Émilie du Châtelet, whose promising career as a mathematical physicist in the 18th century was tragically cut short by complications from a pregnancy at the age of 42.

Between the tragic death of a mathematically talented female and the parallel modern and historical plotlines, this play is sure to draw comparisons to Arcadia. I have not actually seen Legacy of Light, but from the reviews I have read I gather that it does not compare well either from a literary or a mathematical perspective. I look forward to having a chance to judge that for myself, someday, and would also appreciate comments from anyone who has seen it.

Contributed by Anonymous

Loved this play

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Legacy of Light
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
  2. Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson
  3. Emilie by Kaija Saariaho (composer) / Amin Maalouf (libretto)
  4. The Limit by Freya Smith / Jack Williams
  5. The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer
  6. Uniform Convergence: A One-Woman Play by Corrine Yap
  7. Miss Havilland by Gay Daly
  8. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
  9. Doctor Who: The Turing Test by Paul Leonard
  10. Pythagoras's Darkest Hour by Colin Adams
Ratings for Legacy of Light:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
2/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (2 votes)

GenreHistorical Fiction, Humorous,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Female Mathematicians, Romance,
TopicMathematical Physics,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)