Sunday, August 30, 2015

Oliver Sacks, RIP

My friend Chris just sent this. What a loss to the world of this brilliant, compassionate doctor, writer and man.
Famed British neurologist and author Oliver Sacks died on Sunday at the age of 82, his assistant told The New York Times. 
The cause of death was cancer. 
In February, Sacks wrote an op-ed revealing that he was in the late stages of terminal cancer, after earlier melanoma in his eye spread to his liver. 
"It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me," he wrote. "I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers."His last book, a memoir, was published in April. On The Move details Sack's childhood, his move to the United States, his sexuality, his professional achievements and his challenges. 
"In this book he studies himself as he has studied others: compassionately, unblinkingly, intelligently, acceptingly and honestly," wrote Colin McGinn at The Wall Street Journal. "There will not be another like him."


  1. His writing was consistently humane and celebrated the quirks and differences of personality, didn't it? A rare bird, maybe flying for a time in the company of Andrew Solomon who also asks us to think about the richness of diversity. Not just colour and nationality but all the beautiful differences our species is capable of (and even gifted with). I'll miss his work but am so glad to have his books.

  2. I read some of his latest, his autobiography, in which he told how when he was a teenager and his mother learned he had homosexual leanings, she told him he was a vile abomination. He wrote that he was forty years celibate and only recently found a great love. And yet he lived with the most open, loving, generous spirit toward all living creatures.