By Alan Lightman
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400077809, 144pp.)
Publication Date: November 9, 2004
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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. As the defiant but sensitive young genius is creating his theory of relativity, a new conception of time, he imagines many possible worlds. In one, time is circular, so that people are fated to repeat triumphs and failures over and over. In another, there is a place where time stands still, visited by lovers and parents clinging to their children. In another, time is a nightingale, sometimes trapped by a bell jar.
Now translated into thirty languages, Einstein’s Dreams has inspired playwrights, dancers, musicians, and painters all over the world. In poetic vignettes, it explores the connections between science and art, the process of creativity, and ultimately the fragility of human existence.
Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and educated at Princeton and the California Institute of Technology. His books include the novels Good Benito, The Diagnosis, and Reunion; a collection of essays and fables, Dance for Two; and several books on science. His latest, a collection of essays, A Sense of the Mysterious, will be published by Pantheon books in January 2005. He lives in Massachusetts.
“A magical, metaphysical realm...Captivating, enchanting, delightful.” —The New York Times
“Endlessly fascinating. A beguiling inquiry into the not-at-all theoretical, utterly time-tangled, tragic and sublime nature of human life.” --The Boston Globe
“Lightman is an artist who paints with the notion of time.” --Los Angeles Times