At fifty-two, Charles is a professor at a minor 'leafy little college', a once promising poet, divorced, admiring of passion but without passion himself. Out of impulse, he decides to attend his thirtieth college reunion - and there magically witnesses a replay of his last year in college. Thirty years ago, Charles, then a romantic and tender twenty-two year-old, had fallen obsessively in love with a beautiful dancer. Drawn back into his past like a moth to a flame, he recalls his love affair played out amidst the social and political chaos of the late 1960s. Struggling with memories that often appear contradictory, Charles confronts once again the series of devastating events that forever changed his life.
Alan Lightman was born in Memphis Tennessee, and educated at Princeton and the California Institute of Technology. His previous books include three novels, EINSTEIN'S DREAMS, GOOD BENITO, and THE DIAGNOSIS; a collection of essays and fables, DANCE FOR TWO; and several book on science. He is an adjunct professor of humanities at MIT. He lives in Boston.