In his essay, Sacks writes about how some of the people he described thirty years before are still alive and thriving, and he connects the work that began with “Hat” to his later books, which often brought deeper understanding to the conditions he first described back in 1985. He writes:
“When I came to publish my own case histories in the 1970s and 1980s, it was virtually impossible to do so in medical journals, which required charts and tables, and ‘objective’ language. Longer, more personal, detailed case histories were considered archaic and ‘unscientific.’ This is beginning to change again—many medical schools have introduced courses in Narrative Medicine, and whole generations of younger neurologists see the case history as a crucial part of medicine. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is often credited for playing a part in this revival of the tradition of case history, and I like to think that is so.”
For our friends in the UK and Ireland, we are delighted to announce that Ric Burns’ award-winning documentary Oliver Sacks: His Own Life will be in theatres for one night only on September 29th, 2021, followed by a virtual discussion with Kate Edgar, Billy Hayes, Suzanne O’Sullivan, and director Ric Burns. The film will be available for streaming online from October 4th. For ticket information, please visit Altitude Films.
On September 20th, London’s Barbican Centre will host a special preview screening ahead of the release, including the virtual discussion. Purchase tickets here.
Also in the UK and Ireland this month is a special series of events produced by Oliver Sacks’ longtime friend and publisher Jacqueline Graham, focusing on Oliver’s legacy as well as his early life in Northwest London, with exclusive footage shot in his childhood home. All are free. Click here for more information or to reserve a spot.
Here’s hoping you and yours are well. Happy autumn!
Kate, Greg, and Abi