Lisa Genova offered up a very hard-to-accept concept in her novel Einstein’s Dreams. Yuri Murakami, the protagonist in the novel, is stuck in an echo chamber at his old girlfriend, Maria. The book opens with a flash forward—in 2024—which shows Murakami as a broken and apparently useless narrator. As Murakami begins to talk about his broken heart, his body literally shakes and collapses, emitting a strange and upsetting sound. “Someone hurts you when you’re asleep,” Murakami says, suggesting that hope, not time, may be a greater source of connection and resilience than science.

Sharing his own string of broken hearts with Murakami, Lisa Genova shares this novel in her latest book, Time Matters. Unlike Einstein’s Dreams, which centers on human relationships, this book focuses on both nuclear weapons and the Science of Astrophysics. Genova speaks to Mr. Time (“a genuine time particle, passing non-exclusively through members of Time Island”) in an interview on Mondays with Marlene. In between insights into time travel, astrophysics, and the way humans would look under a future sun and if the sky were soft, Genova opened up about the novel, how much she challenges stereotypes, the importance of failure, and why it’s “so difficult” to open up about her own love life.

Lisa Genova on why Einstein’s Dreams was originally called “The Einstein


The extended interview with Lisa Genova, Time Matters, will air Monday, February 12 at 10 a.m. ET.