An impassioned, tender, and joyous memoir by the author of Musicophilia and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.
When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.
With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions--weight lifting and swimming--also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists--Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick--who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer--and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
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A Life Beautifully Considered
Dr. Sacks has always existed at the intersection between science and storytelling. His sometimes obsessive note-taking allowed him to almost single-handedly revitalize the age-old art of the "case study", which had been vital to the study of medicine since the time of Plato, but which was being buried in the generalizations of 20th century scientific medical papers.
His essential humanity and good humour shine in this autobiography, and as always he relates it all to fascinating topics in medicine, neurology, psychology, and even marine biology. Dr. Sacks was one of those rare gifted scientists who had the knack of making the people take centre stage. He will be sorely missed.