Lawrence Weschler, a longtime veteran of The New Yorker and a regular contributor to NPR, is the director emeritus of the New York Institute of the Humanities at NYU, and the author of nearly twenty books, including Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, Everything That Rises, and Vermeer in Bosnia.
"Provide[s] striking glimpses into a remarkable life. Weschler
resurrects the interviews he did in the early '80s with Sacks's
friends and colleagues, and with Sacks himself, who illuminates his
insistence not merely on the humanity of patients who suffered
everything from extreme Tourette's to severe amnesia, but also on
something spiritual within them . . . Compellingly, Weschler
intertwines Sacks's searching empathy with his sheer strangeness."
--Daniel Bergner, The New York Times Book Review"Lawrence
Weschler, a staff writer at The New Yorker from 1981 to 2002, has
now given us a companion volume to [Oliver Sacks's] On the Move . .
. With a rabbinical zest for ideas and disputation, these two
Jewish intellectuals exchanged books and essays (by T. S. Eliot,
Hannah Arendt, Albert Camus, Thomas Bernhard) and discussed them
over Chinese food, or in each other's homes . . . The results are
stirring. There is hardly a dull page in And How Are You, Dr Sacks?
. . . The book has an appealing tone and structure: it is quirky,
collage-like, diaristic, defiantly bookish. When Weschler opened
his old filing cabinets, he realized that his notebooks teemed with
the kind of "table talk" that lit up Boswell's Life of Johnson . .
. Future writers on Sacks will ransack Weschler's book, not only
because it is the most intimate portrait of him we are likely to
get, but also because it illuminates the critical turning points in
his early life and career." --Scott Sherman, Times Literary
Supplement"[an] engrossing biographical memoir. This is Sacks at
full blast: on endless ward rounds, observing his post-encephalitic
patients . . . exulting over horseshoe crabs and chunks of Iceland
spar. Weschler ends by speculating that Sacks altered neurological
practice itself through his attentive compassion for the patients
who feature in his stories." --Barbara Kiser, Nature"This
latest memoir . . . is drawn from four years of extraordinary
conversations in the early 1980s between writer Lawrence Weschler
and Sacks . . . The result is a revelatory and poignant read-a
gently voyeuristic glimpse inside one of the most eccentrically
brilliant minds of the past century in all its neurotic,
melancholic and triumphant complexity . . . What Weschler gives us
is a moving glimpse of a man in motion and a loving friendship."
--Natasha Mitchell, The Sydney Morning Herald "In genre
terms, [this book is] neither fish nor fowl but, rather, some other
odd, often delightful animal." --The New Yorker"In 1981,
Lawrence Weschler, a New Yorker staff writer, began interviewing
the brilliant neurologist Oliver Sacks . . . Their friendship
endured, providing a lifetime of material. Shortly before his death
in 2015, Sacks told his old friend it was time to publish: "Now, do
it! You have to." And Weschler has, in spades." --Sarah Murdoch,
Toronto Star"A wonderful portrayal of a brilliant, eccentric
man." --People"A deeply personal account of the acclaimed
neurologist . . . A thoroughly engaging and enchanting story."
--Kirkus (starred review)"Oliver Sacks . . . comes across
as a fascinating head case himself in this rollicking memoir . . .
Sacks's many fans will love this entertaining portrait of a
charismatic original." --Publishers Weekly"A unique account that
reads like an extended, erudite, and entertaining New Yorker
article . . . With Weschler's examination, Sacks's larger-than-life
presence is humanized . . . Recommended for readers who wish they
had had the privilege of knowing Sacks while he was alive."
--Library Journal"Weschler serves up a potpourri of
conversations, diary entries, interviews, letters and reportage to
paint a vibrant portrait of his friend's fully engaged, at times
frenetic, life . . . this blend of journalistic objectivity and
subjective engagement in Sacks's daily life enlarges and
complements the neurologist's self-portrait." --Harvey
Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness"The story of Lawrence Weschler's
faithful four-decade friendship with the amazing Oliver Sacks
offers pleasures and amazements on every page. This loving but
unblinking portrait will delight fans of Dr. Sacks as well as
devotees of Weschler's always-pathfinding nonfiction."
--Ian Frazier, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of Travels in Siberia"This is one of the best examples I have ever read of a biographical memoir made luminous by the exquisite sympathy that sometimes develops between subject and writer. Really, an achievement!"
--Vivian Gornick, author of The Odd Woman and the City"Two offbeat and complicated men step into a rowboat; a thirty-year intellectual romance ensues. No one but Lawrence Weschler could tell the story with as much polymathic perversity and emotional resonance. Oliver Sacks is such a remarkably literary character that reading this book feels like devouring a novel."
--Laura Kipnis, author of Unwanted Advances"And How Are You, Dr. Sacks? is an enthralling, humorous, and comprehending memoir of the life and work of Oliver Sacks. It is more besides. This beautiful book is the product of the decades-long friendship that came into existence as the brilliant and ambitious journalist took on the project of profiling the beloved neurologist. Weschler brings to his subject something like the same personal investment and engagement that Sacks himself brought to his individual patients. How marvelous, and how improbable, and what a fitting tribute to Oliver Sacks that in Lawrence Weschler he meets his narrative match!"
--Alva Noe, author of Infinite Baseball and Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature"The posthumous Oliver Sacks lives on in this deeply empathic memoir. As much collaborator as interviewer, Lawrence Wechsler knows when to probe and when to remain silent. You'd think Sacks had covered it all in his numerous books, but luckily for us there turn out to be corners as yet unexplored and fresh insights to be gleaned from more familiar biographical territory. In this candid portrait, we feel even more intensely and organically the bond Sacks shared with his patients."
--Molly Haskell, author of Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films