The Ishango Bone
Wilson’s latest chronicles the journey of Amiele, orphaned as a child and sold into child slavery in North Africa. Because of her unusual brilliance, Amiele is able to escape her enslavement via enrollment as a university student in Marrakech and later transfer to Cambridge, where she matriculates as the first female student at Trinity College. Amiele’s exceptional mathematical mind enables her to study abroad at Princeton, but when she disproves a well-known math hypothesis, she provokes jealousy among other academics and suspicion by government agencies. This well-rendered character’s ability to persevere and excel despite adversity forms the basis of Wilson’s moving novel. The intellectual nature of the author’s exploration of math and physics may not appeal to some readers, but Wilson very capably weaves the academic nature of Amiele’s work with the drama of her personal life.