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.


From the Hardcover edition.
“Elegant . . . spare, economical and charged with meaning .” --The New York Times Book Review
 
"One of a handful of writers in America capable of injecting the necessary quietude into his prose. . . . Reunion is that rare thing in this age: a genuine work of art." --Denver Post
 
“A skillful exercise in the evocation of memory and loss. . . . Lightman’s delicate prose turns [Reunion] into a fascinating study.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Marvelously written. . . . A worthy addition to Lightman's work.” --Rocky Mountain News

"Lightman's prose leaps and twirls, circles his subjects and raises them up. If Degas or Manet had written prose it would read like this. . . . Reunion is that rare thing in this age: a genuine work of art."  --Denver Post

“A skillful exercise in the evocation of memory and loss. . . . Lightman’s delicate prose turns [Reunion] into a fascinating study.” --The Washington Post Book World

Reunion seeks . . . to plumb life's most complicated and enduring relationship: that between who one was and who one is. . . . Reunion most powerfully explores the seductions and betrayals of young love.”  --The New York Times

“Undeniably affecting. . . . Memorably lovely. . . . Lightman’s lyrical meditation on aging and nostalgia [will] hit home for just about any reader.” --San Francisco Chronicle

“Haunting. . . . He has a Proustian concern for manipulations of time and memory . . . [a] melancholy grasp of the sovereign ineluctability of time, that ‘hour of eternity.’ . . . Such a rueful consciousness is a pleasure to witness.” --Boston Globe

"A profoundly human story, rich in depth and nuance. . . . Lightman writes with a lightness, a lyrical understatedness that belies the underlying depths and complexities of the novel. . . . Reunion is the work of a great writer." --The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“Prose both luminous and precise. . . . The images of lightness and beauty and grace, of complexity and obsession that Lightman conjures through Charles’ vision of his lover make us participate in Charles’ yearning.” --The San Diego Union Tribune

"A subtle and haunting novel. . . . In Lightman's hands, the act of remembrance becomes a meditation on time, loss, and the ultimate selfishness of love. His writing gets under your skin precisely because of its measured and undemonstrative tone." --Daily Mail (London)

“An achingly beautiful story about memory and the loss of passion. . . . Lightman succeeds in writing an inventive, unsentimental love story.” —The Newark Star-Ledger

"Uncommonly rich imagination  . . . a masterful touch." -- Rocky Mountain News


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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