Saturday, May 9, 2015

The wonder and the weirdness

In February of this year, Oliver Sacks, the neurologist who practices medical writing as an art, published an essay announcing he is terminally ill. The cancer that cost him the sight of his right eye nine years ago has spread to his liver; he can now count his remaining time in months. The announcement was made with characteristic understatement (“my luck has run out”). It was characteristic, too, in its verve. Skipping self-pity, Sacks spoke bracingly of the time he has left. Resolving to live the rest of his life ecstatically, he made you resolve to live yours that way too.

On the Move, the loose and slightly stand-offish autobiography that looks destined to be his last non-posthumous work, is the book of a man who has already written his masterpieces ... [read more]