The Island of the Colorblind

The Island of the Colorblind by Oliver Sachs

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Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands—their remoteness, their mystery, above all the unique forms of life they harbor. For him, islands conjure up equally the romance of Melville and Stevenson, the adventure of Magellan and Cook, and the scientific wonder of Darwin and Wallace.

Drawn to the tiny Pacific atoll of Pingelap by intriguing reports of an isolated community of islanders born totally color-blind, Sacks finds himself setting up a clinic in a one-room island dispensary, where he listens to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow. And on Guam, where he goes to investigate the puzzling neurodegenerative paralysis endemic there for a century, he becomes, for a brief time, an island neurologist, making house calls with his colleague John Steele, amid crowing cockerels, cycad jungles, and the remains of a colonial culture.

The islands reawaken Sacks’ lifelong passion for botany—in particular, for the primitive cycad trees, whose existence dates back to the Paleozoic—and the cycads are the starting point for an intensely personal reflection on the meaning of islands, the dissemination of species, the genesis of disease, and the nature of deep geologic time. Out of an unexpected journey, Sacks has woven an unforgettable narrative which immerses us in the romance of island life, and shares his own compelling vision of the complexities of being human.

235 pages, published in
Oliver Sachs

A book by Oliver Sachs

Oliver Sachs ( July 9, 1933, London - August 30, 2015, New York ) was born in 1933 in London into a family of doctors and scientists. He received his medical degree from Oxford University. Since 1965, Oliver has lived in New York, where he held the position of a medical practitioner. In July 2007, he was appointed professor in the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. In 1966, Dr.

Sachs began working as a neurologist at Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx, where he encountered an unusual group of patients, many of whom had spent decades in a completely immobile state. He managed to get these patients back on their feet thanks to the experimental drug L-dopa. This is how these patients became the heroes of his book Awakened. Sachs is known for his works "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat", "Anthropologist on Mars", in which he describes patients trying to live with diseases such as autism syndrome, parkinsonism, epilepsy, schizophreni...

The Island of the Colorblind PDF

Oliver Sachs ( July 9, 1933, London - August 30, 2015, New York ) was born in 1933 in London into a family of doctors and scientists. He received his medical degree from Oxford University. Since 1965, Oliver has lived in New York, where he held the position of a medical practitioner. In July 2007, he was appointed professor in the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. In 1966, Dr. Sachs began working as a neurologist at Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx, where he encountered an unusual group of patients, many of whom had spent decades in a completely immobile state. He managed to get these patients back on their feet thanks to the experimental drug L-dopa. This is how these patients became the heroes of his book Awakened. Sachs is known for his works "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat", "Anthropologist on Mars", in which he describes patients trying to live with diseases such as autism syndrome, parkinsonism, epilepsy, schizophrenia. Oliver Sachs explored the world of deaf people and sign language, which is reflected in his book A Foot to Stand Up. His autobiographical work, Uncle Wolfram: Memories of Chemical Adolescence, was published in 2001. One of the most recent works by Oliver Sachs is Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. Sachs` stories are not rich in clinical details. Rather, he focuses on the patients` own experiences. And also on the fact that some patients who were "abnormal" in one area, sometimes managed to find themselves in another, although their pathology remained incurable. Sachs books have been translated into more than 20 languages ​​of the world. His book "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" was published in Russian. In March 2006, he was one of 263 doctors who signed a letter of protest against the use of torture by US military doctors against prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. On February 19, 2015, Oliver Sachs, in an article in the New York Times, reported that he had an inoperable cancer and that he had little time left. The article ends like this: [quote] I can`t say that I`m not scared. But the main feeling I have is gratitude. I have loved and have been loved; much has been given to me, and I have given something in return; I read a lot, traveled, meditated, wrote. I communicated with the world in the special way that writers communicate with readers. Most importantly: on this beautiful planet, I felt and thought, which in itself was a great happiness and adventure. [/ Quote] Died on August 30, 2015.