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Feminist Agenda in The Other Einstein?

heather-terrell-marie-benedict-author-photoEnter the giveaway for a copy of The Other Einstein by commenting in the “Leave a Reply” section below.

Recently I posed this question to Marie Benedict, author of The Other Einstein:

RT Book Reviews says “Many will enjoy Benedict’s feminist views.” As I read The Other Einstein, I did not have a “feminist” impression. In your writing, did you actually have a feminist agenda or were you simply giving a realistic portrayal of Mitza Einstein as an intelligent woman struggling to maintain her identity as a scientist during a time and in a society where intelligence was not appreciated in a woman?

Marie Benedict’s response:

The question of whether the historical novel THE OTHER EINSTEIN is imbedded with a feminist view is a very intriguing one. As an author of historical fiction, I certainly attempt to use historical facts as signposts in structuring my stories, filling in the gaps in my knowledge with a blend of fiction and logic. Consequently, in the THE OTHER EINSTEIN, I hoped — as you so wonderfully described — to accurately portray Mileva Maric, Albert Einstein’s first wife and a physicist herself, as a brilliant woman trying to maintain her scientific identity and to receive credit for her contributions during a period when society and personal circumstances made that extremely challenging, as best I could given the limitations of history.

But I am writer of fiction, and don’t all writers necessarily tell their stories through the lens of their own beliefs and experiences? Don’t all people, actually? In fact, that is one reason why I rely upon original source material when researching my novels — to remove the second-hand lens of a historian or commentator relating the facts.

As a result, in mapping out THE OTHER EINSTEIN, I saw Mileva Maric and her historical universe through my own particular lens. The lens of a woman fortunate enough to grow up in late twentieth and early twenty-first century America where I had a plethora of educational and career opportunities available to me, in my case education and work as a lawyer and writer. The lens of a woman who believes all people should be given the means to pursue their passions, regardless of gender or background. So, in reading Mileva’s letters and culling together the “facts” about her life, mustn’t I have viewed that information through my personal lens? And when I began writing THE OTHER EINSTEIN, didn’t my beliefs about equality of education and opportunity permeate the story? Quite possibly, even when I wrote my novel with no particular agenda. In this way, I suppose THE OTHER EINSTEIN is not only the incredible story of Mileva Maric and her world but my own narrative as well.

Read my review of The Other Einstein.

Sourcebooks, publisher of The Other Einstein, is sponsoring a giveaway of the book on this blog! Read the details of the giveaway.

To participate in the giveaway all you need to do is add a comment below. Seriously, it’s that easy! Thank you for participating.

IQ–psychological study wrapped in a mystery




by Joe Ide

IQ is a novel about Isaiah, a very intelligent, young black man destined for greatness.  Unfortunately, he is sidetracked by a series of events, some of his own doing, but mostly outside of his control.  Through the deaths of family members he is left to fend for himself, finding his way through an urban jungle.  Operating on both sides of the law and seeing the devastating consequences of gangs and crime, Isaiah devotes himself to solving cases pro bono to help others and occasionally to make money to support a special crime victim.

The characters in IQ are well-developed, especially Isaiah and his crime and investigative partner Dodson.  The plot is developed almost as two separate stories which are in fact inseparable. The main focus, the mystery, is a rap singer who has a contract out on his life.  He hires Isaiah to find out who is trying to kill him. The other story, which is just as important, goes back in time and shares Isaiah’s journey from child being raised by his older brother to independent detective.  That road was neither easy nor pretty.  The back and forth in time could be confusing, but it is not.  The chapters are not only numbered, but also titled and, most importantly, dated.

Usually repetitive bad language causes me to dislike a book. I find IQ to be an exception.  When inappropriate language is not needed, it is not used. When the story is centered around the black gangsta, rapper culture, swearing and cussing are appropriate for the characters. If they sounded like preachers, the story would lose authenticity. Joe Ide, the author, is a good wordsmith.  I could feel this: “Isaiah and Dodson hadn’t spoke the whole way over, the tension like a stranger in the car.”

The plot has many twists and turns that kept me interested for the duration.  Isaiah is a complicated, resourceful character and I find him to be likable. I was rooting for a successful resolution to the mystery and to Isaiah’s struggles.  You’ll want to read this book yourself to see if either is achieved.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Mulholland Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


The Other Einstein–Book Giveaway!

the-other-einsteinI reviewed a book in mid-October that I enjoyed so much that I decided to host a book giveaway. The publisher, Sourcebooks, is giving away a copy of The Other Einstein to one of my readers. 

Here are the guidelines for this giveaway:

  1. You must be a resident of U.S. or Canada.
  2. You must be 18 years or older.
  3. Winner will be selected by random drawing.
  4. Only one entry per person.
  5. The closing date is Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at 6:00 P.M. CST.
    One winner will be chosen and announced on November 21, 2016 on this blog using the winner’s blogging name. The winner will also be notified via email.
  6. If after 10 days the winner has not responded, a second random drawing will occur.
  7. The book will be shipped by the publisher, Sourcebooks, after the winner has provided shipping details (name and shipping address) which I will forward to Sourcebooks.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Sourcebooks is providing this product and shipping free of charge. I was not recompensed in any way for posting this giveaway on my blog.

To participate in the giveaway all you need to do is add a comment below. Seriously, it’s that easy! Thank you for participating.

If you want to read my review of The Other Einstein, just click here!

(In the coming week, I will also publish a question and answer I posed to the author, Marie Benedict. I found her response enlightening and I think you will too.)

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