Dava Sobel's books include A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos (2011), The Planets (2005), Galileo's Daughter (1999) and Longitude (1995).
From her Q & A with Boyd Tonkin at the Independent:
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/himRead the complete interview.
Carl Sagan. I found him inspirational, as many people did. I really feel that he created an entire generation of astronomers – but he also wrote very well. I'm thinking in particular of 'The Cosmic Connection'.
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Which fictional character most resembles you?
I did identify with the narrator of 'The Tiger's Wife' [by Téa Obreht]. The young woman who tells the story comes from a medical family and becomes a doctor herself. And she is taken to the zoo regularly – when I was young we lived a few blocks from the Bronx Zoo.
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Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Vera Rubin. She's an astronomer who went into [the field] when it wasn't at all hospitable to women. She was once denied time on a telescope because, she was told, the observatory did not have a ladies' room!
See Dava Sobel's five best list of books which record extraordinary journeys of discovery.