Alan Lightman, trained as a theoretical physicist, is the author of six novels, including The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the author of three 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. He has taught at Harvard and at MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in Science and the Humanities. He lives in the Boston area.