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Reunion : A Novel
The New York Times has called Alan Lightman “highly original and imaginative.” Each of his novels is a new exploration of that imagination, utterly unlike the others. Einstein’s Dreams, an international best-seller, was a whimsical and provocative tone poem about time. The Diagnosis, hailed by the Washington Post as a “major accomplishment” and a...
The New York Times has called Alan Lightman “highly original and imaginative.” Each of his novels is a new exploration of that imagination, utterly unlike the others. Einstein’s Dreams, an international best-seller, was a whimsical and provocative tone poem about time. The Diagnosis, hailed by the Washington Post as a “major accomplishment” and a finalist for the National Book Award, was a disturbing examination of our obsession with speed, information, and money, and the resulting poverty of our spiritual lives. Lightman’s new novel, Reunion, is a delicate and haunting story of how we shape our identity through memory.Charles is a middle-aged professor at a minor liberal-arts college, a once promising poet, admiring of passion but without passion himself. Without knowing why, he decides to attend his thirtieth college reunion. And there, he magically witnesses a replay of his senior year.Drawn back into his memories, Charles watches his tender and romantic twenty-two-year-old self embark on an all-consuming love affair with a beautiful dancer. As the two young people struggle to find themselves amidst the social and political chaos of the late 1960s, the older Charles recalls contradictory versions of his past, ultimately confronting for the second time a series of devastating events that would forever change his life.Written with crystalline prose, at once precise and mysterious, Reunion explores the pain of self-examination, the clay-like nature of memory, and the impossible hopefulness of youth.
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