Darwin, Emma 1964(?)-
Darwin, Emma 1964(?)-
Born c. 1964, in London, England; daughter of a lawyer (father) and English teacher (mother); children: two. Education: Attended University of Birmingham; University of Glamorgan, M.Phil.; graduate studies at University of London. Hobbies and other interests: Photography.
Home—London, England. Agent—Clare Alexander, Gillon Aitken Associates, 18-21 Cavaye Pl., London SW10 9PT, England.
Bridport Prize, 2004, for short story "Maura's Arm."
The Mathematics of Love (novel), Headline Review (London, England), 2006, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2007.
Writings published in anthologies.
In her first novel, The Mathematics of Love, Emma Darwin, the great-great-granddaughter of the noted scientist Charles Darwin, combines two stories told centuries apart by their narrators. The first story revolves around Major Stephen Faithurst, who loses a leg in the Napoleonic Wars and the woman he loves, as well. Eventually, Faithurst falls in love with his former love's sister, Lucy Durawar, an artist who flaunts the societal norms, especially those concerning women. The other story focuses on Kersey Ann Ward, a fifteen-year-old who spends some time at an old estate run by her uncle. When she makes friends with a local couple, Ward becomes interested in photography after they give her a daguerreotype (an early technology for making photos). In addition, the couple gives Ward letters written by Faithurst, which prove to be a valuable asset as she learns about love and sex. Commenting in the Canberra Times on her decision to combine a historical story with a modern-day tale, the author related that "what really interests me is how we feel history." Darwin continued: "I don't really believe in ghosts, or paranormal things, but I do think they're an expression of our sense of history. They're a way of embodying something that's actually much more inchoate." Michele Leber, writing in Booklist, noted that "first novelist Darwin displays definite literary skills." A Publishers Weekly contributor called Darwin "a gifted observer" and added that she found her narrative way via "Anna's voice, Stephen's story and her portrait of Lucy." Christine Perkins commented in the Library Journal that The Mathematics of Love is a "strong debut" and contains a "compelling, literary blend of war history and romantic relationships."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 15, 2006, Michele Leber, review of The Mathematics of Love, p. 28.
Canberra Times (Canberra, Australia), August 5, 2006, "Evolution and the Origin of a Writer," profile of Emma Darwin.
Financial Times, July 22, 2006, Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, review of The Mathematics of Love, p. 33.
Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Christine Perkins, review of The Mathematics of Love, p. 57.
Natural History, November, 2005, Sheila Ann Dean, "Bee Lines and Worm Burrows: Growing Up as Darwin's Little Helpers," article about the Darwin family history, p. 40.
Publishers Weekly, September 11, 2006, review of The Mathematics of Love, p. 32.
Emma Darwin Home Page,http://www.emmadarwin.com (December 23, 2006).
Gillon Aitken Associates Web site,http://www.gillonaitkenassociates.co.uk/ (December 23, 2006), brief profile of Emma Darwin.
Writewords,http://www.writewords.org.uk/ (December 23, 2006), "Emma Darwin Interview."