Klara Hveberg: Author and mathematician

Photo: Agnete Brun

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Magic trick with two Rubiks-cubes

Email: hvebergklara[at]
Lean your loneliness slowly against mine
(Novel, Aschehoug 2019)

«A remarkable and heartbreaking debut novel with the lyrical beauty and emotional resonance of By grand central station I sat down and wept and the thematic complexity of Asymmetry, that combines fractal mathematics and classical music to explore the infinitely complex patterns of love and the thin border between great passion and great loneliness.»

Rakel has always been more comfortable with numbers than with people. A gifted woman with a rare talent for math, she has never mastered the art of making friends. At nineteen she moves to Oslo to attend university. There she meets Jakob, a brilliant older teacher who becomes fascinated by Rakel's quick mind. Jakob is struck by the similarities between Rakel and Sofia Kovalevskaya, the first woman to become a professor of mathematics, and the subject of the novel he is writing. Just as Kovalevskaya was close to her much older advisor, Rakel and Jakob are drawn to each other and eventually become lovers, although he is already married. In the years to come, Rakel's academic career soars, but her health declines, and from her bedside she spends hours imagining Sofia's life while trying to understand her own. With a gaze both naive and mercilessly sharp, she examines what may be her life's only love story, looking for patterns and answers in numbers, music and literature.

«Extraordinarily wise and penetrating, Lean your loneliness slowly against mine explores the intricacies of the human heart, the complicated equation that is love, and the search to finding meaning and connections when you need them most.»

The book was originally published in Norwegian as hardcover, paperback and e-book by Aschehoug forlag, and as an audio book by Lydbokforlaget. Read reviews and excerpts from the novel. It will also be published in the USA (Harper Via), UK (Harper Collins), Germany (btb Random House), Korea (Solbitkil), Poland (Marpress) and Denmark (Turbine). Foreign rights are held by Oslo Literary Agency.

«Hveberg's rich, philosophical debut runs on ruminations about love, loss, and loneliness with two love stories, each involving a math professor and a brilliant student. ... Hveberg gives proof to a provocative equation for elegant fiction.»
Publishers Weekly, starred review

«A novel of interior spaces that plumbs the depths of loneliness in order to find within it the origins of love.»
Kirkus reviews

«Klara Hveberg has written a stunning debut novel about unrequited love, longing, obsession, betrayal and more. Complex and alluring, it is framed by the author's – and the protagonist's – expertise in mathematics, as well as by music and literature.»
New York Journal of Books

«When you can make fractal mathematics sound like the most lyrical song – that’s talent.»
Book Riot

«Brilliant debut. A delightful history about the many aspects of love, and of the search for beauty in life.»
(6 out of 6 stars) Vigdis Moe Skarsten, Adresseavisen

«Klara Hveberg has written a truly wonderful love story. A story composed mainly in minor keys, but with a constant humoristic undercurrent that appears both refined and organic. The book is also packed with well-tuned references to music, literature, mathematics and philosophy.»
(6 out of 6 stars) Øystein Hauge, Romsdals Budstikke

«A remarkable novel (...) I was both intrigued and found myself falling in love with Rakel. Klara Hveberg has written a beautiful love sonata in D minor. I feel a little less lonely with this book on my nightstand.»
(5 out of 6 stars) Gabriel Moro, VG

«Mathemagical debut. This incredibly strong novel makes music out of mathematics and turns life into poetry. Bravo!»
Gerd Elin Stava Sandve, Dagsavisen

«A mature debut where the author juggles mathematics, art and passion in a love story full of both humor and deep despair. (...) The result is one of the most complex and interesting protagonists I have encountered.»
Anne Schäffer, Vårt Land

«The novel is recommended for everyone, but those who are fond of music, literature and mathematics will be particularly delighted by this little gem of a book. I give it top score: 6 stars out of 6»
Tine Sundal's book blog

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