March 19, 2014

Alan Lightman

Harvard Book Store welcomes National Book Award finalist ALAN LIGHTMAN for a discussion of his latest book, The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew.


Alan Lightman brings a light touch to heavy questions. Here is a book about nesting ospreys, multiple universes, atheism, spiritualism, and the arrow of time. Throughout, Lightman takes us back and forth between ordinary occurrences—old shoes and entropy, sailing far out at sea and the infinite expanse of space.
“In this slight volume, Lightman looks toward the universe and captures aspects of it in a series of beautifully written essays, each offering a glimpse at the whole from a different perspective: here time, there symmetry, not least God. It is a meditation by a remarkable humanist-physicist, a book worth reading by anyone entranced by big ideas grounded in the physical world.” —Peter L. Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University

About Author(s)

Alan Lightman is the author of six novels, including the international best seller Einstein's Dreams and National Book Award finalist The Diagnosis. He is also the author of two collections of essays and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. A theoretical physicist as well as a writer, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities. He lives in the Boston area. He is the founder of the Harpswell Foundation in Cambodia.