THE WOMAN FOR WHOM I INVENTED THE COMPUTER
As a young man, using parts he constructed by hand, Germany’s Konrad Zuse (1910-1995) built the world’s first computer. He was inspired by the Platonic love he felt for Lord Byron’s daughter, Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), who was herself a pioneer in the field of computing. In Delius’ novel, the elderly Zuse skips a ceremony honoring his achievements to converse with a young journalist. It’s a July evening in 1994, and Zuse tells of his work during Nazi Germany and his dramatic flight from Berlin to Bavaria in the final days of the war. The more he talks, the opener he becomes about his triumphs and failures, his views on a variety of subjects and the passion he feels for Ada Byron. He fantasizes, laments, boasts and can’t shake the feeling he’s struck something of a Faustian bargain…
Zuse’s life story is more captivating than any thriller, and this is the first time it has been treated in a work of literature. In this sophisticated novel, Delius recounts how computers and indeed the whole digital age originated in a simple Berlin apartment. This is the story both of the invention of the computer and the invention of an impossible love affair.
‘A highly absorbing story’ Die Zeit
‘Never has Delius been so buoyant, relaxed and politically incorrect’ Berliner Zeitung