This collection of essays are mainly casebook studies. Neurological patients, Oliver Sacks once wrote, are travellers to unimaginable lands. This book offers portraits of seven such travellers, including a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette's syndrome unless he is operating, an artist who loses all sense of colour in a car accident, but finds a new sensibility and creative power in black and white, and an autistic professor who cannot decipher the simplest social exchange between humans, but has built a career out of her intuitive understanding of animal behaviour. These are paradoxical tales, for neurological disease can conduct one or other modes of being which - however abnormal they may be to our way of thinking - may develop beauties and virtues of their own. Thus one young man, Stephen Wiltshire, who is both retarded and autistic, none-the-less has produced thousands of astonishing drawings. The exploration of these individual lives is not one that can be conducted in a consulting room or office, and Sacks has taken off his white coat and deserted the hospital, by and large, to join his subjects in their own environments. Sacks also offers a perspective on the way our brains construct our individual worlds, and reconstructs the mental acts that are largely taken for granted - the act of seeing, the transport of memory and the notice of colour.About the Author:
Oliver Sacks was born in London in 1933, into a family of physicians and scientists. He received his medical education at Oxford and trained at Mt Zion Hospital in San Francisco and at UCLA. Since 1965, he has lived in New York City, where he is a professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine and consultant neurologist to the Little Sisters of the Poor. Dr Sacks is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and the New Yorker, as well as various medical journals. He is the author of eleven books, including Musicophilia, T he Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Awakenings (which inspired the Oscar-nominated film). For more information on Dr. Sacks’s work, please visit www.oliversacks.com.
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