Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century
by Masha Gessen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 242 pp., $26.00
On March 23, Grigory Perelman, the fearsomely brilliant and notoriously antisocial Russian mathematician, rejected the one-million-dollar Clay prize for solving the Poincaré Conjecture. He reportedly said through the closed door to his spartan apartment, “I have all I want.” In Perfect Rigor, Masha Gessen gives a convincing picture of Perelman and the strange world of Soviet mathematics in which he came of age.