Rediscover: Oliver Sacks

On April 9, PBS aired Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, a biography of the late author and neurologist, as part of its American Masters series. Directed by Ric Burns (younger brother of Ken Burns), the film is based on Sacks's autobiography, On the Move: A Life, which was published just months before his terminal cancer diagnosis. The film includes interviews with Paul Theroux, Bill Hayes and Atul Gawande, among many other colleagues, family and friends, plus interviews given by Sacks weeks after his diagnosis (he died in August 2015). Oliver Sacks: His Own Life explores the author's difficulties with homophobia, addiction and a medical establishment averse to his ideas until late in his career. View a preview or the entire documentary here.

Ric Burns said, "It turns out that the revelatory power, narrative drama and emotional force of Oliver Sacks' own life story--his case history--rivals that of the extraordinary cohort of people he sought to humanize and understand so brilliantly, deeply and empathetically in his exceptional clinical practice and writings." Three of Sacks's best-known books, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Hallucinations and Awakenings, are available in a single set from Picador ($30.99). On the Move: A Life is available from Vintage ($16.95). --Tobias Mutter

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