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

    • Einstein's Dreams

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
    • Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 132
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 114
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 115

    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 KalebEvan on 09-22-16

    Regular price: $17.47

    • 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 26
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 25
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 24

    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....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • I've been looking for this book all my life.

    • By ashepler on 07-24-18

    Regular price: $20.97

    • 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 112
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 97
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 98

    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

    • In Praise of Wasting Time

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Alan Lightman
    • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 27
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 25
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 24

    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....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Praise this book!

    • By Marcus Davis Jr on 11-11-18

    Regular price: $14.17

    • 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 125
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 103
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 103

    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 125 ratings

    Regular price: $13.96

    • A Sense of the Mysterious

    • Science and the Human Spirit
    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Performance
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Story
      0 out of 5 stars 0

    From the best-selling author of Einstein's Dreams comes this lyrical and insightful collection of science writing that delves into the mysteries of the scientific process - physics, astronomy, mathematics - and exposes its beauty and intrigue....

    Regular price: $23.07

    • Dance for Two

    • Selected Essays
    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Performance
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Story
      0 out of 5 stars 0

    The New York Times best-selling author of Einstein's Dreams presents a collection of essays, written over the past 20 years, that displays his genius for bringing literary and scientific concerns into ringing harmony....

    Regular price: $17.47

    • Ghost

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Christopher Price
    • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3 out of 5 stars 1
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 1
    • Story
      3 out of 5 stars 1

    Three months after unexpectedly being fired from his job, David takes a temporary position at a mortuary. There, he sees something he cannot comprehend, something no science can explain, something that will force him to question everything he believes in, including himself....

    Regular price: $16.95

    • Good Benito

    • By: Alan Lightman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 1
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 1
    • Story
      3 out of 5 stars 1

    Bennett "Benito" Lang is a young scientist who seeks solace in the precise and irrefutable laws of physics, only to find he cannot escape his own humanity. But he is about to discover love, betrayal, and a whole spectrum of mortal phenomena....

    Regular price: $20.97

    • 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

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