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Book Talk, Alan Lightman, Mr. g: A Novel about the Creation

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Mr. g: A Novel about the Creation Image courtesy of Pantheon & Schocken Books.

“As I remember, I had just woken up from a nap when I decided to create the universe.” So begins Alan Lightman’s playful new novel, Mr. g, the story of Creation as narrated by God. Bored with living in the shimmering Void with his bickering Uncle Deva and Aunt Penelope, Mr. g creates time, space, and matter—then moves on to stars, planets, consciousness, and finally intelligent beings with moral dilemmas.

But even the best-laid plans can go awry, and Mr. g discovers that with his creation of space and time come unforeseen consequences—especially in the form of the mysterious Belhor, a clever and devious rival. An intellectual equal to Mr. g, Belhor delights in provocation: he demands an explanation for the inexplicable, requests that intelligent creatures not be subject to laws, and maintains the necessity of evil. As Mr. g watches his favorite universe grow into maturity, he begins to understand how the act of creation can change the Creator himself.

Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and educated at Princeton and at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. An active research scientist in astronomy and physics for two decades, he has also taught both subjects on the faculties of Harvard and MIT. Lightman’s novels include Einstein’s Dreams, which was an international best seller; Good Benito; The Diagnosis, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; and Reunion. His essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Nature, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker, among other publications. He lives in Massachusetts, where he is adjunct professor of humanities at MIT.

To Reserve: This event is open to the public. The fee is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. Reservations are required but cannot be accepted until Thursday, January 12 at 9:00 a.m. To register, please log onto your My Athenæum profile to make a secure online payment at https://bbd.bostonathenaeum.org or call the Athenæum’s reservation line, (617) 720-7600. Reservations are non-refundable.

Book Sales:  Alan Lightman will sign copies of his book at a reception following the lecture, books will be provided for sale by Zimmara. If you wish to reserve or purchase a book or books in advance, please visit Zimmara or call 617-734-7689.

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Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at weisman@bostonathenaeum.org or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.