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Kate Wenner

A Baby Boomer and the Atom Bomb
 Combining fact with fiction, Kate Wenner’s “Dancing with Einstein” is a carefully crafted novel that manages to wrap a piece of history into beautiful alliterative prose with its portrait of a young woman struggling to make sense of her life.When the novel opens, it is 1975 and the protagonist, Marea Hoffman, (named after the dark seas of the moon) is approaching her 30th birthday. She returns to New York after seven years of traveling the world, desperate to finally “settle down” and make peace with her demons.Those demons stem from the fact that as a child growing up in the 50s in Princeton, her father, Jonas, a Holocaust survivor, was a nuclear physicist involved in the Manhattan project, and a close friend of Albert Einstein. It takes a great deal of chutzpah for a writer to even think about creating a relationship between a fictional character and one of the world’s greatest men of all time, let alone a believable one. But thankfully, Kate Wenner manages to do just that.As a small child, Marea used to sit on Einstein’s lap, waltz around the living room with him, and call him “Grandpa.” But despite the initial closeness between Einstein and Jonas, tensions in the Hoffman household eventually become strained as both Einstein and Jonas’s wife, Virginia, – a confirmed pacifist – object to him working on the hydrogen bomb. In one touching scene, Marea sits on Einstein’s lap in his study and asks:“Why is my father helping Dr. Teller make a bigger bomb?”“…This makes you sad.”Marea didn’t want him to see her cry, but her tears were already dropping to the rug. “Come here my princess.”

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Η Μάρεα ήταν ακόμη παιδάκι όταν ο πατέρας της, πυρηνικός φυσικός, συμμετείχε στο απόρρητο στρατιωτικό σχέδιο Μανχάταν, την ομάδα που κατασκεύασε την πρώτη υδρογονοβόμβα στη δεκαετία του '50. Της άρεσε ...