Alan Lightman
AUTHOR

Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman is an American writer, physicist, and social entrepreneur. Born in 1948, he was educated at Princeton and at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a PhD in theoretical physics. He has received five honorary doctoral degrees. Lightman has served on the faculties of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was the first person at MIT to receive dual faculty appointments in science and in the humanities. He is currently professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT. His scientific research in astrophysics has concerned black holes, relativity theory, radiative processes, and the dynamics of systems of stars. His essays and articles have appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, Harper's, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, Salon, and many other publications. His essays are often chosen by the New York Times as among the best essays of the year. He is the author of 6 novels, several collections of essays, a memoir, and a book-length narrative poem, as well as several books on science. His novel Einstein's Dreams was an international bestseller and has been the basis for dozens of independent theatrical and musical adaptations around the world. His novel The Diagnosis was a finalist for the National Book Award. His most recent books are The Accidental Universe, which was chosen by Brain Pickings as one of the 10 best books of 2014, his memoir Screening Room, which was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the best books of the year for 2016, and Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine (2018), and extended meditation on science and religion. Lightman is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also the founder of the Harpswell Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is "to advance a new generation of women leaders in Southeast Asia."






Photo by Alan Lightman (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Best Sellers

    • Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 7
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 6

    A lyrical meditation on religion and science, with an exploration of the tension between our yearning for permanence versus scientific discoveries pointing to the impermanent nature of the world....

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • Terrible! A major physicist becomes an amateur philosopher

    • By NYDenizen on 07-03-18

    Regular price: $20.97

    • Einstein's Dreams

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
    • Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 115
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 101
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 101

    A modern classic, Einstein's Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, when he worked in a patent office in Switzerland....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Inspirational

    • By Kaleb Biladeau on 09-22-16

    Regular price: $17.47

    • In Praise of Wasting Time

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Alan Lightman
    • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 7
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 6
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 5

    In this timely and essential audiobook that offers a fresh take on the qualms of modern day life, Professor Alan Lightman investigates the creativity born from allowing our minds to freely roam, without attempting to accomplish anything and without any assigned tasks....

    Regular price: $14.17

    • The Accidental Universe

    • The World You Thought You Knew
    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 3 hrs and 51 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 109
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 94
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 95

    From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams and Mr. g comes a meditation on the unexpected ways in which recent scientific findings have shaped our understanding of ourselves and our place in the cosmos....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Spiritual Atheist Laments

    • By Michael on 02-16-15

    Regular price: $17.47

    • Mr g

    • A Novel about the Creation
    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Ray Porter
    • Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 123
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 101
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 101

    With echoes of Calvino, Rushdie, and Saramago, this is a stunningly imaginative work that celebrates the tragic and joyous nature of existence on the grandest possible scale....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • The Universe: A Fable

    • By Diane on 09-04-12
    • A Novel about the Creation
    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Ray Porter
    • Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
    • Release date: 01-24-12
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 123 ratings

    Regular price: $13.96

    • The Diagnosis

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Scott Brick
    • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      2 out of 5 stars 13
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      3 out of 5 stars 2

    On his way to work one morning, Bill Chalmers suddenly discovers that he cannot remember where he is going, what he is meant to be doing or, indeed, who he is....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • The Diagnosis

    • By deb on 04-21-05

    Regular price: $27.93

    • Screening Room

    • Family Pictures
    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2

    Alan Lightman's grandfather, M. A. Lightman, was the family's undisputed patriarch: it was his movie-theater empire that catapulted the family to prominence in the South....

    Regular price: $20.97

    • Reunion

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Scott Brick
    • Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3 out of 5 stars 8
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 3

    In mid-life, Charles, a mildly successful, divorced professor at a "leafy little college" who has traded his youthful passions for reduced expectations, attends his 30th college reunion....

    Regular price: $19.93

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