2002, Paperback, Vintage Departures, ISBN 978-0-307-94744-4
A trip to see ferns in Mexico turns into a meditation on Mesoamerican civilization,chocolate, agriculture, mescal, amateur naturalists and more.
Oliver Sacks is best known as an explorer of the human mind, a neurologist with a gift for the complex, insightful portrayals of people and their conditions that fuel the phenomenal success of his books. But he is also a card-carrying member of the American Fern Society, and since childhood has been fascinated by these primitive plants and their ability to survive and adapt. Now the best-selling author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat brings his ceaseless curiosity and eye for the wondrous to the province of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Oaxaca Journal is Sacks’s spellbinding account of his recent trip with a group of fellow fern enthusiasts to the beautiful, history-steeped province of Oaxaca. Bringing together Sacks’s passion for natural history and the richness of human culture with his penetrating curiosity and trammeling eye for detail, Oaxaca Journal is a captivating evocation of a places, its plants, its people, and its myriad wonders.
Dr. Sacks on Oaxaca Journal:
“I have been an inveterate keeper of journals since I was fourteen, especially at times of adventure and crisis and travel. Here, for the first time, such a journal made its way to publication, not that much changed from the raw, handwritten journal that I kept during my fascinated nine days in Oaxaca.”
Dr. Sacks discusses the ferns of Oaxaca, Mexico on NPR May 30, 2002.