Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948 and educated at Princeton and at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. His research papers in physics have appeared in numerous scientific journals. His essays and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and other magazines. He is the author of a dozen books, including two collections of essays, Dance for Two and A Sense of the Mysterious, and four novels, Einstein’s Dreams, Good Benito, The Diagnosis, and Reunion. Einstein’s Dreams was an international bestseller and The Diagnosis was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award in fiction. Lightman has served on the faculties of Harvard University and of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently an adjunct professor of humanities.