When I was 12 my mum gave me your book "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat." I didn't know then what neurology was, and to this day that was one of the most amazing moments of my life. Your TED talk, your books, and pretty much everything, have inspired me endlessly.
It is difficult to put into words how thankful I am for the influence your work has had on me. Because of you, I am going to become a neurologist and help answer that question, "How do our brains work?"
Dr Sacks, you have been an inspiration to me during my entire career in neuroscience. I cannot thank you enough for your writing and for your example, both of which have brought so much meaning into my life.
Oliver, I just ordered "On the Move" as way to hold on to you. As I touch your book, the memories will awaken of your swim in our pond, of your laughter around our fire pit beneath the timeless stars, of your tenderness with our residents, people made vulnerable by their mental illness. Your words continue to inspire me as I re-read your NYRB article which values the compassionate communities that we have fostered. (By the way, we have just formed a consortium of such communities.!)
As the wind whips the trees beneath the blue North Carolina sky, I peer into the firmament and think of my love for you and Kate. May peace be with you!
CooperRiis Healing Communities
Felt I had to write a short note to send my deepest sympathy after reading of your diagnosis. Your beautifully written books have long been firm favourites and your neurological insights especially compelling since I suffered my own traumatic brain injury.
Thank you for the revelations, the tears and the laughter.
Dear Dr. Sacks,
I was first introduced to your work in a college Neurobiology course. I have fond memories of staying up late in my dorm room reading The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and, later, excitedly sharing these tales with friends. Your contributions to neurology and captivating stories inspired me on a path in neuroscience. My mother suffered a stroke while I was in school (managing well but suffering hemiparesis and left neglect), so I found myself drawn to your most insightful depiction of unilateral neglect in "Eyes Right!" I'm sure so many others will agree with me when I say I still have much to learn from you. I hope that your works (and wit) will always be at my side!
Thank you, Dr. Sacks.
With love and gratitude,
This is long overdue, Doctor Sacks. Thank you very much for the gifts of yourself, your writing, and especially "Uncle Tungsten" which brings back fond memories of my "boy chemist" days: it is one of my very favorite books. I wish you all the best in whatever time remains for you. Peace.
Oliver Sacks! The person who I want to be completely! He totally include in everything in my life. The first time I read his books, I was impressed so much. He changed my life with his writings and personality. I wish I could meet him once, but I know it is impossible. But he must not forget how change others life more great than past. We love you and we read you!
Switched my degree to Neuroscience the day after opening my first of your books. After years of uncertainty, thank you for showing me what I absolutely want to study.
Dear Mr Sacks,
As part of my Psychology assignment, I read The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat- I concentrated on chapter 2, The Lost Mariner, and chapter 12, A Matter of Identity. I was thoroughly moved by both case studies. I am writing to you in order to ask if you had any other information regarding both patients and their ordeal with Korsakoff's syndrome.
Dear Dr. Sacks
Musicophilia was the book that was recommended to me at a Music Conductors Conference in Melbourne. I went out and bought it and have now read it 3 times over a 9 year period. It has been joined by Hallucinations and Migraine. I plan on expanding further.....
I so enjoy the reader friendly approach that you use and the usefulness of your infomation. Personally, it has been a huge support to me on my migraine journey which began as a child (I am now mid fifties). In learning more about migraine I now give it greater importance and consequently care for myself better. I am also able to now help my daughter on her journey and often read her passages from the book.
Your Musicophilia book has helped me as a conductor, singing teacher and member of the music community in my town. My community choir performs at nursing homes for the elderly and retirement villages, and some of my choir members are older than the residents. These people know a thing or two about the significance of music in your life!!!!!!!!
I am ordering your latest book now. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge with the world. We are all on this earth together, and if we can but help another to understand and marvel at its complexities then we have done a good thing.
Best wishes to you and yours from Janet
The ending of "The Last Hippie" still sends chills down my spine.
We'll miss you, Dr Sacks. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
I have read almost every one of your books, the more recent ones (last 10 years or so) listening to them on audiobook format as I drove to and from work. I have learned so much about our brains and how we think, and I find myself constantly making connections between things I see around me and what I learned from your writing. My children all know your work now too and I think their interest in neuro and cognitive sciences may have stemmed from some of our discussions that your books created. I want to thank you for that, and to wish you peace and joy in all things.
Dear Dr. Sacks,
Your article on “A General Feeling of Disorder” [New York Review of Books, April 23, 2015] prompted my memory of about twenty years ago when a colleague at the then University of Missouri at Rolla [now Missouri Institute of Technology in Rolla, Missouri] described his suggestion to radio activate tiny glass beads for introduction into blood flow of patients with cancer in kidney, liver, pancreas, spleen. Your note indicated some success which I most sincerely hope will continue. It was my dental hygienist who told me that my occasional jagged visions were aural migraines, whereupon I bought your wonderful book about Migraine which provides me great solace. Your appearances on Charlie Rose and your TED talk reporting the hallucinations of your ladies helped me beyond easy ways to describe. My physicians over 40 years failed to help me with either of these symptoms of mine.
Please allow me to thank you with all my heart. I hope for the very best for you and yours in future.
Most sincerely yours,
Orrin K. Crosser, Professor Emeritus
Dept of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Missouri Institute of Science and Technology
I feel so privileged to have exchanged ideas with OS, having been in a footnote in Musicophilia. Thank you for listening to my thoughts about synaesthesia and taking them seriously. And thank you Dr sacks for your life of valuable work -- and play!
I learned about you through my tennis partner, and then got to know you and your work starting with your most recent essay at NYT (My Own Life) .... As a gay scientist/engineer coming from a foreign country, I find many similarities between our lives and, more importantly, am inspired by your enthusiasm and drive to make difference.
"My Own Life" has triggered another round of self-evaluation and discussion in my head. I wonder about the true definition about the meaning of my life (or a human's life in general). I wonder, if my life ended today, what would be my proudest accomplishment/strongest regret. Would all these questions/concerns/accomplishments/failures even be relevant in a larger time scale (hundreds and thousands of years)? I wish to learn from your experience, but wonder if it is going to be unique to each individual.
We shall try to do our best to make difference. It would be great if we succeed. If not, at least we have tried. This is what I know/believe.
I want to thank you for your book titled Migraines. I suffer from chronic migraines, and found most physicians have been unsympathetic: interested solely in a diagnosis, with little regard to how my life had come to a complete halt.
Your book was a godsend, because you described strategies which patients themselves used and found worked. This may have been an anecdotal book, but it helped me greatly, and I wanted to express my many thanks to you for writing a book from the perspective of the patients.
I also wanted to let you know that your book The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat was my first glimpse into the world of neuroscience, and thanks to your work, I've found the subject I'm passionate about.
I was very saddened to learn about your diagnosis. You will be terribly missed.
Thank you for sharing your life's work and passion with the rest of us for all these years.
Dear Dr. Sacks,
You are an extraordinary human being and I love your brain! I feel like a silly school girl (I'm 45) just writing to you but I wanted you to know that The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was the first book I read, and I was mesmerized by your work. The article that you wrote for the NY Times titled "My Own Life" resonated deeply in a few ways with me. Last year in June my brother took his life just before his 48th birthday. These words "have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death" are exactly how i have been feeling for about 8 years myself. Thank you for articulating what I couldn't. Thank you for all you've given to the world. You are amazing. I dream about a swim or just a talk with you.
Dear Dr. Sacks,
When I was a young teacher of German and French literature and philosophy, I saw in Paris Peter Brook's interpretation of your book ""L`homme qui ..." (1993). I was totally so impressed that I was eager to read all your books. In all your descriptions, you show such a deep love and an humble respect for all your patients - and I suppose, not only for them. I wish you should be read in all schools of the world.
Greetings and best wishes for you,
Five years ago, I had a stroke on my right eye. I had no idea what was happening. That same year, I read your book The Mind's Eye. It seemed you were explaining
every thing to me. We have very good medical services here, and I am ok so far. I am taking a course now, and we are writing about a book that touched us
more than any other, and of course it was your book.
Thank you .
Dear Dr, Sacks,
I write you from Oaxaca where I’ve just finished reading your Oaxaca Journal for the second time.The first time I read the Journal I lived in New York and had never heard of nor been to Oaxaca, so the experience was more armchair travel than intimate acquaintance.
At this writing, I have lived in Oaxaca for nine years and reading the Journal again is as familiar and comforting as my daily dog walk up the Cerro del Fortin.
The dog (Guapo) and I can see Monte Alban from there and the Journal reminded me that on my first trip to Monte Alban I could feel it as a crowded marketplace full of flutes and drums and bells and voices and people and feathers and exchanging produce and moving around. The Journal brought that all back to me.
Then yesterday I visited a friend in Huayapam. He showed me two beautiful, dried selaginella lepidophylla fronds which looked just like the sketch on the Journal’s page 93. Having just discovered them in your book, seeing them in person filled me with the excitement and joy of meeting old friends.
So thank you, Dr. Sacks, for all your books and for all your New Yorker pieces and for all your work which has over the years so often touched, enlightened and delighted me.
K. T. Maclay