“Divide Me by Zero is deft, personal, evily heart wrenching, and nihilistically funny. Vapnyar – or the main character Katya, you may lose track – takes great pleasure in drawing out every emotion in visceral detail, from blinding ecstasy to severe, all-encompassing pain. The wild passions between which Katya vacillates would normally be exhausting, but injected with Vapnyar’s humour and honesty, they feel authentic each time. Most of all, it’s the story of a woman grieving her mother in a systematic, mathematical way, but even that in itself is uncertain. Divide Me By Zero is, by definition, undefinable.”
With humor, intelligence, and unfailing honesty, Katya traces back her life’s journey: her childhood in Soviet Russia, her parents’ great love, the death of her father, her mother’s career as a renowned mathematician, and their immigration to the United States. She is, by turns, an adrift newlywed, an ESL teacher in an office occupied by witches and mediums, a restless wife, an accomplished writer, a flailing mother of two, a grieving daughter, and, all the while, a woman caught up in the most common misfortune of all—falling in love.
Award-winning author Lara Vapnyar delivers an unabashedly frank and darkly comic tale of coming of age in middle age. Divide Me by Zerois almost unclassifiable—a stylistically original, genre-defying mix of classic Russian novel, American self-help book, Soviet math textbook, sly writing manual, and, at its center, a universal story with unforgettable lessons for us all.