Marina Budhos The Professor of Light

ISBN 13: 9780399144738

The Professor of Light

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9780399144738: The Professor of Light
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Megan, who has served from childhood as prote+a7ge+a7 and helper to her father, a Guyanese scientist, finds the pull between family and society overwhelming as her father descends into jealousy and madness when she nears adulthood. 12,500 first printing.

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Review:

"As my father told it, Heraclitus believed that the world was always in flux. Everything I knew--the grass and trees, the sky arching overhead, even my own mother and father--was always changing. This was the principle of things that stayed put and things that moved, the stone and the river, home and travel. And out of the strife of opposites, like fire and water, would come a perfect, eternal harmony."

In one paragraph, Marina Budhos sets out the central themes of her novel: flux, change, strife, and eventual transformation. The narrator of The Professor of Light is young Meggie Singh, the daughter of a Guyanese-born physicist and his Jewish American wife. Each summer the Singhs travel to England to stay with Singh's sister, Inez, and her British husband, Tom. Within the context of this veritable united nations of a family, Budhas finds wide scope for her "scientific romance." Professor Warren Singh is obsessed with the nature of light, both particle and wave, and his single-minded devotion to the topic is wreaking gradual havoc on his marriage and his sanity--a fact that Meggie doesn't immediately realize. For she is seduced by the Caribbean myths and folktales her father tells her in between work on the book in which he attempts to explain the paradox of light. But what are simply delightful stories to Meggie carry frightening significance for her father. A little science, a lot of myth, and a stiff dose of dysfunctional-family drama make The Professor of Light ideal for philosophical readers. --Margaret Prior

From the Author:

In my novel, The Professor of Light, I was interested in identity and immigration, and sought an aesthetic that ventured into a magical realm. I found it in a core image-the dual nature of light, as particle and wave, solid and fluid. The novel centers on the intense bond between a father and daughter-a father who is driven mad in his quest to understand light, and a devoted daughter who risks falling off the edge with him. To fall off the edge becomes a metaphor for knowledge and for immigration, departing from the familiar into the unknown.

To me, philosophy and childhood are intimately entwined. When we are children, nothing is taken for granted. We are discovering the world afresh. We ask simple and yet deeply profound questions. Professor Singh knows this, and he hopes that in tapping into his daughter's innocence and grooming her curiosity, he can understand the greatest mysteries of the universe.

In writing this book, I drew from the warm voices of Caribbean storytelling that I had grown up with and transformed them into tales that I hope will have resonance for all readers. I culled from philosophy and science for powerful metaphors about the self-Descartes' ideas about light particles express a young girl's budding sexuality.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9788186939086: The Professor of Light

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  8186939083 ISBN 13:  9788186939086
Publisher: IndiaInk, 2000
Softcover

9788186399088: The Professor of Light

IndiaInk, 2000
Softcover

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