The Indian Clerk

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The Indian Clerk
Cover of 'The Indian Clerk'.jpg
Author David Leavitt
Country United States
Genre Fictive biography,[1] Historical fiction
Publisher Bloomsbury USA
Publication date
September 2008
Pages 485
ISBN 1596910410

The Indian Clerk is a biographical novel by David Leavitt, published in 2007. It is loosely based on the famous partnership between the Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and his British mentor, the mathematician, G.H. Hardy. The novel was shortlisted for the 2009 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.[2]


The novel is inspired by the career of the self-taught mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, as seen mainly through the eyes of his mentor and collaborator G.H. Hardy, a British mathematics professor at Cambridge University.[3][4] The novel is framed through a series of lectures that Hardy gave on the subject of Ramanujan's life and mathematics at New Lecture School at Harvard in the summer of 1936 and the narrative switches between Hardy's recollections and the events of the 1910s when Ramanujan was in England. The framed narrative begins in January 1913, in Cambridge, England, where Hardy receives a letter filled with unorthodox but imaginative mathematics and asking for support and guidance.


The novel is set against the backdrop of the First World War and colonial India. It features such prominent writers and public figures as D. H. Lawrence , Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "2009 Shortlist". International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Nell Freudenberger (September 16, 2007). "Lust for Numbers". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ DJ Taylor (26 January 2008). "Adding up to a life". The Guardian.