Albert Einstein College
|"I had to keep a distance, create my own world from the neutrality and beauty of nature, so that I would not be swept into the chaos, the madness, the seduction..."
||The wonder that he found in science developed into a lifelong love affair with medicine and the human mind.
|Dr. Oliver Sacks, in his newly released memoir, Uncle Tungsten, tells the story of his own childhood, one full of wonder and instability, happiness and pain, all in the backdrop of war-torn England.
In such turbulent surroundings, it was in chemistry that young Oliver found a sense of security. Sacks writes, I had to keep a distance, create my own world from the neutrality and beauty of nature, so that I would not be swept into the chaos, the madness, the seduction...
The wonder that he found in science developed into a lifelong love affair with medicine and the human mind.
For the past four decades, Oliver Sacks has explored the mysteries of the mind. From sleeping sickness to colorblind-ness to hallucinations and psychoses, he has each time revealed the spirit within the individual, and the unshakable capacity to be human in the face of seemingly insurmountable forces.
With the same ardor and conviction that characterized his younger days, Sacks continues to convey the romance of science and the healing that can be experienced by both the patient and his doctor.
In 1966, he first encountered the survivors of the great epidemic of sleeping sickness, which had killed millions in the 1920’s. With his administration of the new drug L-DOPA, he saw these patients frozen for decades awaken with an explosive quality, as of corks released from a great depth. His bestselling book about their experiences, Awakenings, inspired the film Awakenings, starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture of the Year.
In the bestselling The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Sacks tells heartbreaking and inspiring tales of patients with perceptions remarkably altered by various neurological conditions.
His more recent works include: The Island of the Colorblind, combining his fascination with medical mysteries with his love of botany and South Seas travel; and An Anthropologist on Mars, a collection of clinical tales. A multi-part BBC-TV series Oliver Sacks: The Mind Traveler, was featured in the United States on PBS.
"Good prose is often described as glowing: luminous, numinous, glimmering, shimmering, incandescent, radiant.
Sacks’s writing is all that."
The New York Times Book Review, Nov 4th, 2001