Introducing Outside The Book: Alan Lightman on His Best Unwritten Story
Have you ever thought of a joke just a little too late, a comeback that would’ve been a sick burn if the person you needed to address it to hadn’t already left the room? There’s a German word for that. Treppenwitz, literally: “staircase joke.”
Sometimes, a version of that same thing happens to authors. They find new information or come up with ideas after their book has already gone to print. This podcast is about those ideas. The ones that either never made it to publication or the stories that were beautiful, but too brief to warrant an entire book.
In this first preview episode, you’ll hear Alan Lightman, physicist, author, and social entrepreneur tell Terence about life beyond the page, a project that took him and his daughter Elyse to a small village in Cambodia, and the attempt at a good deed that had a host of consequences neither of them expected.
Who’s Alan Lightman?
Alan Lightman is a novelist, essayist, physicist, and educator. Currently, he is Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lightman is one of a small number of people who combines the sciences and the humanities – his novel Einstein’s Dreams was an international bestseller and has been translated into thirty languages. His most recent publication, TED Book: In Praise of Wasting Time came out in May 2018. He is also the founder of the Harpswell Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower a new generation of women leaders in Southeast Asia.
What is Outside The Book?
Outside the Book is a sibling podcast to Self? Help! in which authors talk about life away from their desk to share experiences they hold dear, but have not yet committed to the page.
It’s made by the same people who make Blinkist, a learning app where you can read or listen to the key ideas from a nonfiction bestseller, in just about 15 minutes. You can try Blinkist for free for 14 days when you use the voucher code: lightman
It takes a village to raise a podcast
Outside The Book was created and produced by Terence Mickey, with audio engineering help from Dominick Egley, and production assistance from Nat Darozhkina. Additional audio engineering and ad music by Ben Jackson and Ody Constantinou. This show could not have happened without the help of Caitlin Schiller and Ben Schuman-Stoler, hosts of Blinkist’s other much-loved podcast, Simplify. Thanks also to Joshua Phelps, Lotta Kortekallio, Hugh Brace, Natalia Piana, Justyna Kusa, Sarolta Geréb, Kaleb Wentzel-Fisher, Sarah Moriarty, Sarah Kennedy, Yerang Choi, Clément Halloo, Gloria Ciceri, Emily Phillips, Robyn Kerkhof, and Therese Sivertsson.
Tell us what you think of this episode by dropping a line to email@example.com. Send us feedback, questions, comments, or even a wish, if that’s what floats your boat. You can Tweet at Terence directly @terence_mickey or Blinkist @blinkist.