Fiction Book Group - The Geometer Lobachevsky by Adrian Duncan

Adrian Duncan Book Cover The Geometer Lobachevsky

The December Fiction Book Group will be meeting via Zoom

Monday, December 11th • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM IST via Zoom
Session open to all, no registration required.

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When I was sent by the Soviet state to London to further my studies in calculus, knowing I would never become a great mathematician, I strayed instead into the foothills of anthropology.

It is 1950 and Nikolai Lobachevsky, a Glav Torf mathematician and great-grandson of his illustrious namesake, is aiding Bord na Móna by surveying a bog in the Irish Midlands. Far from home, he studies the locals and the land. One afternoon, soon after he arrives, he receives a telegram calling him back to Leningrad for a ‘special appointment’. Lobachevsky may not be a great genius but he is not foolish: he recognises a death sentence when he sees one and leaves to go into hiding on a small island in the Shannon estuary, where the island families harvest seaweed and struggle to split rocks. Here Lobachevsky must think about death, how to avoid it and whether he will ever see his home again.


'If more men thought and wrote as tenderly and honestly, we’d have stronger, sturdier novels and fewer garish monuments to consumerism.’ DAVID O’CONNOR, THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT

‘A reflective, beautifully paced novel.’ SARAH GILMARTIN, IRISH TIMES

‘Of course, if you’re as good a writer as Duncan, part of the [publishing] industry may come to reshape itself around you. Long may he continue to write about his obsessions.’ JOHN SELF, IRISH TIMES

‘Duncan appears interested in excising any curlicues or flourishes from his prose until it is a simple, elegant, reflective surface.’ JOHN SELF, THE CRITIC

‘What is most fascinating about Adrian’s writing is his ability to a story from the technical skills he has used as an engineer.’ JESSICA THOMPSON, LONGFORD LEADER

Adrian Duncan

About the Author

Adrian Duncan was born in County Longford and originally trained as an engineer. He is a Berlin-based visual artist and filmmaker. His short fictions have appeared in literary journals both in Ireland and the USA. His acclaimed debut novel, Love Notes from a German Building Site, published by Lilliput and Head of Zeus in 2019. He was shortlisted for the Emerging Writer Award at the inaugural 2020 Dalkey Literary Awards and won the inaugural John McGahern Annual Book Prize. His second novel, A Sabbatical in Leipzig, was published by Lilliput in 2020 and is forthcoming from Profile Books. It was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2021. His first short story collection, Midfield Dynamo, was published in 2021 and was longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. 

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