An Elegy for Mathematics by Anne Valente


by Anne Valente

ISBN: 978-0-9887044-0-4

Softcover, 47 pages.
also available as eBook

Small stories that render maps of the human heart… and the human mystery.

This 2017 reissue includes a new story!

SKU: 978-0-9887044-0-4 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,



A man in search of a golden bead that is rumored to grant immortality. A would-be astronaut’s manifesto. An Archivist who can’t help but record all of life’s statistics. In these thirteen small stories, Anne Valente takes us to worlds both fantastic and familiar, forgotten and foretold, and in tight, layered prose, she strives to unravel all the tangled questions we have about ourselves. From the field guides of anatomy to permutations on desire, these small stories are expansive and encyclopedic, a cataloguing of love and loss, an attempt to find a formula for everything that courses through us.

“Whether touching on the epic or the mundane, each of Anne Valente’s stories is a sweeping but precise examination of what it means to be human. These stories can be very painful, and can be very redemptive, but the grace that carries both along is bright and breathtaking. This is an astounding collection from a talented young writer.”
-Amber Sparks, author of May We Shed These Human Bodies

“In An Elegy for Mathematics, Valente articulates the strangeness and complexity of everyday emotions with startling precision. These stories are daring, beautiful, and urgent.”
-Seth Fried, author of The Great Frustration

Check out previously published pieces included in this chapbook: “He Who Finds It Lives Forever” and “May This Strap Restrain You” at Necessary Fiction.

Anne Valente is the author of two novels, The Desert Sky Before Us (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2019), which was selected as an InStyle Best Book of the Month, and Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2016), which was an Amazon Best Book of the Month, a Midwestern Connections Pick, a Refinery29 Best Book and one of Ploughshares’ Most Necessary Books of 2016. She is also the author of the short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names, which won the 2014 Dzanc Prize, and the fiction chapbook, An Elegy for Mathematics (Bull City Press, 2017).

Her fiction appears in One Story, American Short Fiction, The Kenyon Review and The Southern Review, among others, and won Copper Nickel’s Fiction Prize and a Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award Prize. Her work has received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Ragdale Foundation and the Women’s International Study Center, has appeared in Best Small Fictions 2017, and has been honored in Best American Essays 2022 and Best American Non-Required Reading 2011. Her essays appear in The Believer, Catapult, Literary Hub, Guernica and The Washington Post.

Originally from St. Louis, she currently lives in upstate New York where she is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Hamilton College.


Additional information

Weight .35 lbs
Dimensions 5.5 × .25 × 8.5 in


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