Friday, December 21, 2012

Oliver Sacks

The famed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks's new book is Hallucinations.

From his Q & A with Noah Charney at The Daily Beast:

Please recommend a book that makes science accessible to trade readers, and that has influenced your own work.

One book that was very influential for me was published in English in 1968, and it’s called The Mind of a Mnemonist, by A. R. Luria. When I started to read the book, I thought it was a novel. Then after a few pages I realized it was a case history, the most detailed I ever read, but so beautifully written, and so full of feeling and pathos and characterization and richness … For me, that combined science and art ideally. That’s my model.

For readers coming to your books for the first time, which would you recommend as a starting point, and why?

I think maybe The Island of the Colorblind. I have a sort of soft spot for it, because it combines different sorts of writing. It has medical writing, but it also has travel writing: going to Micronesia to see this island of colorblind people. I think it’s broader and more colorful than my purely medical books.

You have researched a wide variety of neurological phenomena, including Tourette’s syndrome and migraines. What about when a condition or phenomena speaks to you, and prompts your desire to study it in detail?

Tourette’s syndrome is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue