“What draws her to historical fiction and what the research process was like for her?”
When I was young, I was lucky enough to have a wonderful aunt — who was an English professor, poet, and a forward-thinking nun — who provided me with a constant stream of intriguing literature. One birthday, she gave me the present of a book that challenged my perspective on the world. That book was Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, a thought-provoking re-telling of the Arthurian legend from the perspective of the women in Arthur’s life, Guinevere and Morgan LeFay. This book made me wonder at the other untold stories that exist in legend and history, and set me on the path toward excavating women’s narratives from the past.
When I first read that Albert Einstein’s first wife was a physicist, the antennae for the secret tales of women that I developed as a young girl was activated. I became fascinated at the thought of Mileva Maric — a university student when very few women even received high school educations and who was married to one of the world’s most renown scientists during his “miracle year” of 1905 when he published four of his most important theories. What was her story? And what role might she have played in the foundation of modern physics?
So I started to research Mileva. a surprisingly challenging process given that she was once married to one of the world’s most famous men and tomes have been written about him. Among other sources, I drew inspiration for Mileva’s voice from her wonderful letters to Albert, her friends and family, in particular the letters between Albert and Mileva written between the years 1897 and 1903 that were discovered in the 1980s. In Mileva’s own words, I could hear her curiosity and intelligence as well as her emotional naiveté, and this allowed me to fashion her fictional voice and put together the story that became THE OTHER EINSTEIN.
Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. While practicing as a lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women — and finally found it when she tried he
r hand at writing. She embarked on a new, narratively connected series of historical novels with THE OTHER EINSTEIN, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein’s first wife, a physicist herself, and the role she might have played in his theories. Writing as Heather Terrell, Marie also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare.