Review: I Am Because You Are

Posted November 5, 2015

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: I Am Because You Are I Am Because You Are Published by Freight Books Genres: Short Stories
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

In November 1915 Albert Einstein published his now world famous General Theory of Relativity. It made key predictions around gravity’s influence in space and time. It introduced to physics new concepts around the curvature of space, the passage of time, the bending of light, black holes and the behaviour of bodies in freefall.

I Am Because You Are is a timely collection of new fiction and non-fiction from novelists and science writers, all inspired by the theme of Relativity. Each contributor treats the subject in their own unique way. The results are charming, witty, sometimes challenging but always accessible, presenting complex science themes in imaginative, easy-to-understand and highly entertaining ways.

Contributors include novelists Andrew Crumey, Dilys Rose and Neil Williamson, alongside popular science writers like Pedro Ferreira, Jo Dunkley and Lance Miller. Edited by acclaimed, award-winning writers Pippa Goldschmidt and Tania Hershman, I Am Because You Are will be the perfect vehicle for both press and public to engage with this important centenary.

I’ve recently been enjoying collections of short stories, and making more of an effort to discover new reads. When I saw that Freight Books had an anthology out inspired by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, I was sold. The scientist in me couldn’t resist reading I Am Because You Are.

This month it’s actually 100 years since Albert Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity. To mark the occasion science writers and novelists have come together to create this collection of new fiction and non-fiction pieces.

Naturally, I found the non-fiction articles very interesting – I knew I would. What I wasn’t sure about was how I’d feel about the fiction but, on the whole, I loved it! Each writer has taken inspiration from the theme of Relativity to create short stories which draw upon this topic.

Honestly, the range of writing in this book was fascinating. Many were very obviously Relativity-related while some more far more subtle – I enjoyed both extremes equally.

I do want to mention just a couple of the stories I particularly enjoyed, the first being The Two-Body Problem by Ruby Cowling. Focusing upon the lives of twins, the page is split down the middle with Stella’s thoughts and story on the left, and Esther’s on the right. It was very impactful.

There was one story in this book though that affected me more than the others, Eric’s Mum Has A Black Hole Inside Her: A Science Project by Clinton and yours truly (Eric) by Rosa Campbell. I was NOT ready for this story and ended up in tears. It’s quite different from the other pieces of writing in the book, written from the perspective of Eric, a young boy whose father has left and whose mother is spending most of her time in bed. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful, and is a story I know will stay with me for a long time.

The balance of non-fiction, fiction and poetry in this anthology was perfect. I loved the range of ways that Relativity influenced the writing and the different take the authors had on the subject. All in all, a very good read and a great way to mark the centenary of this life-changing theory.