Chemistry

Chemistry

A Novel

Unknown - 2017 | First edition.
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Named by The Washington Post as a Notable Work of Fiction in 2017 and by Entertainment Weekly as a Best Debut Novel of 2017
Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Ann Patchett on PBS NewsHour, Minnesota Public Radio, Maris Kreizman, and The Morning News

National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree

Longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize

A luminous coming-of-age novel about a young female scientist who must recalibrate her life when her academic career goes off track; perfect for readers of Lab Girl and Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You.

Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her one-time love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She's tormented by her failed research--and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all by her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life. But there's another, nonscientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist, whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles, and with whom she can't make a life before finding success on her own. Eventually, the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future, and herself, behind. And for the first time, she's confronted with a question she won't find the answer to in a textbook: What do I really want? Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry--one in which the reactions can't be quantified, measured, and analyzed; one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781524731748
Branch Call Number: FIC Wang
Characteristics: 211 pages ; 21 cm

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singidunum_25
Aug 07, 2017

Painfully sad and very realistic read. Novel about parental unrealistic expectations, lack of affection and one person struggles to fit in. Profoundly honest too. Chapters are short and sentences are even shorter. Very sharp writing and to the point. Very nerdy too. Loved it!

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

"I tell the math student, Me and the dog make two, and two points define a line. ...You need three or more points to define a shape...."

"The breaking of bond requires energy. This is a fundamental law of thermodynamics."
"...to be a good mother and wife is to be a perpetual motion machine...."

"Fear of following the other person despite that person being good and reasonable and kind...What phobia is that? Stupidity?"

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