Leaning Towards Infinity

Leaning Towards Infinity

by Sue Woolfe
published 1996
Ligature untapped
genre Literary Fiction

Frances Montrose’s mother was a housewife and a secret mathematician. Frances too, though an English teacher, has a gift for mathematics. She enters a competition to present a paper at a conference in Athens—and wins. However, she’s not what the organisers expected—and the conference is not what Frances expected either. She disappears for four days. Frances’s story is told by her daughter, Hypatia, who uses her mother’s voice, and draws on her mother’s diaries in this bestselling, award-winning novel of mothers, maths, love and betrayal.

‘A lovely novel, magical in its elevation of mathematics into a realm of divine beauty, charming in its depiction of the equally demanding sphere of motherhood.’ — Kirkus Reviews, US

‘For the Australian book of the century I would nominate … Sue Woolfe’s “Leaning Towards Infinity” for its luminous melding of style and subject matter.’ — Jack Dann, Australian Style, 1999

‘What a glorious, nourishing, tumultuous novel.’ — Fay Weldon

‘Extraordinarily rich … Wolfe’s name can sit beside Gabriel Garcia Marquez with barely a blush’ — Daily Telegraph

‘It is the daring orchestration of [the] motifs of passion, emotional and intellectual, sexual and creative, that makes Leaning Towards Infinity an utterly compelling tour de force.’ — Marion Campbell, Australian Book Review

First published in 1996, Leaning Towards Infinity was immediately lauded by critics and won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the South East Asia and South Pacific Region, and was shortlisted for the NBC Banjo Awards as well as the US Tip Tree Prize. 

Sue Woolfe’s novels include her acclaimed debut Painted Woman (1989), also part of the Untapped Collection; the internationally award-winning, bestselling Leaning Towards Infinity (1996), The Secret Cure (2003) and The Oldest Song in the World (2012). Her most recent book is Do You Love Me Or What? (2017). For more information visit suewoolfe.com.au