“I discovered a new type of crystal just after Easter which suddenly transformed the whole aspect of my protein research and gives rise to high hopes.”

–Max Perutz (1944 letter to parents-in-law Herbert and Nelly Peiser)

What a Time I Am Having: Selected Letters of Max PerutzMax Perutz was a scientist of immense achievement and a key player in the development of the field of molecular biology.  His personal letters, published in the book What a Time I Am Having, provide an intimate look at his life.

“All crystallographers will find much to like in this splendid book,” writes John Helliwell (University of Manchester) in the current issue of Crystallography Reviews.  Helliwell says that historical events “are now in a vista of glorious detail described close in time to when they actually happened.”

In particular, the book documents the hopes, roadblocks, and moments of elation of Perutz’s 60-year quest to understand the molecular biology of hemoglobin.  His discovery of the structure of the molecule earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1962.

The letters, written not for public consumption but for family, friends, and fellow scientists, “provide a less guarded and thus more human viewpoint,” Helliwell says.  “It is a privilege to have access to all these letters in this remarkable and splendid volume.”

For more information on What a Time I Am Having, click here.