Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Favorites: Part Six
Mark Sarvas

To celebrate the holidays we asked some of our favorite people in publishing what their favorite book was. Let us know in the comments what your favorite book is and be sure to check back throughout the week for more “favorites”.

Mark Sarvas runs the literary blog The Elegant Variation. His criticism has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Threepenny Review and others. His debut novel, HARRY, REVISED, will be released by Bloomsbury in the spring.

I absolutely loved David Leavitt’s The Indian Clerk. Within a few pages I was completely caught up, and found my pleasure never dimmed as I read this bracingly intelligent novel which recounts the unlikely friendship between the British mathematician G.H. Hardy and the Indian prodigy of the title, Srinivasa Ramanujan. It’s an epic and elegant work which spans continents and decades, and encompasses a World War. Leavitt’s prose is consistently gorgeous, and his control of this dense, sprawling material is impressive – astonishing, at times. And yet, for all its breadth, it remains firmly rooted in the interior lives of its two fascinating protagonists and affords us a glimpse at the costs of genius. A remarkable, affecting novel.

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