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The Edinburgh Neurology Book Club recently read the late Professor Oliver Sacks’ autobiography, On the Move: A Life. Many of us have read (and reviewed1 2) his works. We wanted to learn about the man himself. He did not disappoint us.
This is an unflinchingly honest memoir from a singular character. As his schoolteacher put it, ‘Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far’. He was many things: English, Jewish, an expat in the USA, homosexual and mostly celibate, harrowed by contemporary attitudes (his mother wished he ‘had never been born’) and laws (same-sex relations between UK men were only partially legalised in 1967). He was a record-breaking powerlifter, a motorbike fanatic, a recovered amphetamine addict, a lifelong wild swimmer and prosopagnosia sufferer. Besides these, he was perhaps the most famous neurologist of all time.
Sacks’ career was …
Contributors NW wrote the primary manuscript. KK cowrote and edited the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned. Internally peer reviewed.
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