By Alan Lightman
(Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780375421693, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 23, 2007
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David is a person of modest ambitions who works in a bank, lives in a rooming house, enjoys books and quiet walks by the lake. Three months after unexpectedly being fired from his job, he takes a temporary position at a mortuary. And there, sitting alone in the "slumber room" one afternoon at dusk, he sees something that he cannot comprehend, something that no science can explain, something that will force him to question everything he believes in, including himself. After his metaphysical experience, all his relationships change---with his estranged wife, his girlfriend, his mother--and he grudgingly finds himself at the center of a bitter public controversy over the existence of the supernatural. As David struggles to understand what has happened to him, we embark on a provocative exploration of the delicate divide between the physical world and the spiritual world, between skepticism and faith, between the natural and the supernatural, and between science and religion.
Combining a dramatic story with compelling characters and provocative ideas, "Ghost "investigates timeless questions that continue to challenge contemporary society.
Alan Lightman is the author of four previous novels, two collections of essays, and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Granta, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among many other publications. A theoretical physicist as well as a novelist, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, and was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment at MIT in science and in the humanities. He lives in the Boston area.