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©2017 by alan burdick.

"For a long time, time was something I did my best to avoid ..."

WHY TIME FLIES  A MOSTLY SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION

TIME IS THE MOST COMMONLY USED NOUN IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE …

It's always on our minds and it advances through every living moment. But what is time, exactly? Do children experience it the same way adults do? Why does it seem to slow down when we’re bored and speed by as we get older? How and why does time fly?

In this witty, graceful, and intimate exploration, award-winning author and New Yorker staff writer Alan Burdick takes readers on a personal quest to understand the clocks that tick inside us all. For the better part of a decade, Burdick journeyed among scientists studying the most vexing questions about our perceptions of time. Along the way he visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that “now” actually happened a split second ago; finds a twenty-fifth hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist’s lab, even makes time go backward.


Why Time Flies is an instant classic, a vivid and deeply moving examination of our relationship with time. Make no mistake, you’ll never look at a clock the same way again.
 

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It opens up a well of fascinating queries and gives us a glimpse of what has become an ever more deepening mystery for humans: the nature of time.... A wealth of stories and surprising facts."

Erudite and informative, a joy with many small treasures."

Few concepts are as slippery as time, but science writer Alan Burdick takes on that wrestling match with verve... Wonderfully rich and utterly beguiling."

There isn't a single time but many different times that must be perfectly reconciled, and the ambiguity gives a playful, reflective writer like Mr. Burdick time to shine."

An insightful meditation on the curious nature of time ... A highly illuminating intellectual investigation."

Burdick ... is one of the finest science writers at work today, with an uncanny ability to explain knotty topics, with humanity, and humor."

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About the Author

Alan Burdick is a senior staff editor at The New York Times and a former staff writer and senior editor at The New Yorker. His first book, Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion, was a National Book Awards finalist and won the Overseas Press Club award for environmental reporting.

Alan has worked as an editor at several publications, including The New York Times Magazine and Discover. His writing has appeared there and in The New Yorker, Harper's, GQ, Natural History, On Earth, Outside, and the Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is the namesake of asteroid number 9291. He lives with his family outside of New York.

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News & Events

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, interviews me about my work habits, my relationship to time, and my on-again off-again friendship with my laptop.

It may seem slippery and maddeningly abstract, but it's also deeply intimate, infusing our every word and gesture. Read the excerpt in The New Yorker.

What Degas can teach us about the subjective experience of time. Read the excerpt in Nautilus magazine.

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On Instagram? Post a photo of you with your copy of Why Time Flies, tag me (@alanburdick), and I'll stop by and say hello!