Document Type

Creative Writing

Publication Date


Department 1



When people discover I am a nuclear physicist, they often say, "Oh, like Marie Curie!" And yes, I am like Marie in that I have woman parts, I study nuclei, I have two children and a physicist husband. But had I lived in her time, I would not have been that rare female admitted to the Sorbonne. I could not have quietly made the top scores on the math and physics examinations. I am impulsive and thin-skinned, my occasional cleverness passing for deeper talent. I would probably have been a cleaning girl, pregnant at 15, unable to speak any language but my native one, whatever mine might have been back in 1891. [excerpt]

Required Publisher's Statement

© 2017 Michigan State University. This work originally appeared in Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2017, 31-40.