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Theory of Sorrow

SLAVENKA DRAKULIĆ

 

It is 1914, the eve of the First World War. Mileva Einstein has just arrived in Berlin with her two young sons to join her husband, the most celebrated scientist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein. He has finally found a university position worthy of his talents.

And then Mileva then receives a letter from him outlining “Conditions” he expects her to uphold in order to continue their relationship, and her already difficult life is completely upended.

£ 18.00

978-953358663-2 Hardback 208 pages

Mileva refuses to submit, instead leaving Berlin with her two sons and her enormous burden of grief, with all the slights and setbacks that she has previously faced and will face in the future.

Mileva Einstein, née Marić, always outstanding yet always an outsider, from a wealthy family in Vojvodina, a territory of Austria-Hungary at the time, was destined for the greatest scientific achievements—a brilliant mathematician, only the fifth woman to attend the elite and demanding Zurich Polytechnic School.

But her theory of sorrow was as weighty as any theory of relativity, and far more commonly experienced. She bore no end of grief—from her earliest days because of a disabling limp, through loss and disappointment as a young woman, to her setting her own ambitions aside for the sake of her husband Albert’s career, then the breakup of their marriage, near destitution, illness and the illness of her younger son.

In this fictional interior portrait based on the historical record, Slavenka Drakulić brings Mileva Marić Einstein to life. Theory of Sorrow is an attempt to understand the decisions and actions and ultimate trajectory of this woman of exceptional intelligence and promise.

Published as part of the Growing Together project, co-financed by the European Union.

Translated, from the Croatian, by Vladislav Beronja.

 

Distributed in association with The Irish Pages Press

“In her latest novel, Slavenka Drakulić enters surgically beneath the skin of this sad human drama in which a woman sacrifices herself for a man. But is he, after all, worthy of such sacrifice?”
Denis Derk, Večernji list

“This is a spellbinding story that lacks neither dramatic tension nor dazzling emotion.”
Neues Deutschland

“Slavenka Drakulić writes not only about Mileva, but also for her, attempting to right the injustices she experienced.”
Die Presse

“The parts of this novel that are simply marvelous are those in which Mileva strips bare herself and her relationship with Albert, the balance of domination and dependence of two people who at the beginning of their relationship were complete intellectual equals. The parts that are painful are those in which she analyzes her own motherhood, all the injustices and betrayals she experienced, as well as the widening concentric circles of sorrow because of Albert, her children, and her ailing sister. […] Ever present is the question: what would the history of art and science look like if women had not for so long been sidetracked by their own sorrow?”
Jagna Pogačnik, Jutarnji list

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About The Author

Slavenka Drakulić, born in Croatia (former Yugoslavia) in 1949, is a journalist and a writer whose books have been translated into many languages. Her best-known book in the USA and UK is How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed. Her last collection of essays, Café Europa Revisted: How to Survive Post-Communism, was published by Penguin Random House in 2021. In the USA, she has published eight non-fiction books and five novels. The 2010 feature films As If I Am Not There (directed by Juanita Wilson, written by Eliseo Altunaga) was based on her novel S. – A Novel About the Balkans. slavenkadrakulic.com

Slavenka Drakulic

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About The Author

Slavenka Drakulić, born in Croatia (former Yugoslavia) in 1949, is a journalist and a writer whose books have been translated into many languages. Her best-known book in the USA and UK is How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed. Her last collection of essays, Café Europa Revisted: How to Survive Post-Communism, was published by Penguin Random House in 2021. In the USA, she has published eight non-fiction books and five novels. The 2010 feature films As If I Am Not There (directed by Juanita Wilson, written by Eliseo Altunaga) was based on her novel S. – A Novel About the Balkans. slavenkadrakulic.com

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 210 × 148 × 22 mm