Paolo Giordano is the youngest-ever winner of Italys prestigious literary award, the Premio Strega, for his debut novel The Solitude of Prime Numbers, which has been translated into more than thirty languages worldwide.
Just twenty-seven years old, Giordano is a professional physicist and is currently working on a doctorate in particle physics. He lives in Italy.
This biography was last updated on 03/15/2010.
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A conversation with Paolo Giordano, author of The Solitude of Prime Numbers
Q. You're a physicist. This is a book. What can a book tell us that a math problem can't?
A. Books (novels and poetry more than anything else) can tell us about the ambiguity of the world. While a math proof is either right or wrong, literature lies between the real and the unreal and is often an approximation of the truth. I think it is in this approximation that a book's fascination and humanity reside.
Q. What did your academic advisors in your physics program say when you told them you'd written a book?
A. Nobody knew anything until the book was published (not even my parents), so everybody's first reaction was, "A book? And when did you get the chance to write it?" In the beginning, my advisors were quite positive - they were amused by seeing my face on newspapers and in bookstore windows. Then, as the book became more successful, some started to feel bothered about it. I think it was partly because I wasn't able to devote myself to my work as seriously as before and partly because I was trading the scientific truth for a more (in their opinion) dubious art.
Q. Solitude is the story of two friends, one male and...
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