Contribute to an Oliver Sacks Biography!


Dear readers,

Happy July 9th (the 86th anniversary of Oliver Sacks’s birth)! We are very excited to announce that Laura J. Snyder has begun working on the definitive biography of Oliver Sacks! Follow her on Twitter for progress updates. With exclusive access to Dr. Sacks’s vast archive of manuscripts, journals, correspondence, and photographs, Dr. Snyder has already unearthed some interesting surprises, including OWS’s notebook from his expedition to the Marine Research Station at Millport, Scotland in April-May 1950, when he was at St. Paul’s School. It could be considered his first “professional” field notebook.


Oliver greatly admired Laura Snyder’s books, calling her “a masterly scholar and a powerful storyteller.” Her most recent book, Eye of the Beholder, explored how artists and scientists in seventeenth-century Holland changed the way we see the world. We suspect she will also have many fascinating new perspectives on how Oliver Sacks interacted with the science and culture of his own times.

We invite you to add your own stories and reflections to our archive: How did Oliver Sacks and his work affect your life? Did you know Dr. Sacks personally, or correspond with him?

We’d love to hear your stories and reflections. You can reply to this email, or write to [email protected].

Everything in Its Place was recently the subject of a very insightful essay by Simon Callow in the New York Review of Books.

Have you seen Oliver Sacks’s reading list, from the Strand Bookstore’s Author Bookshelf?


And finally, if you are near London, you will want to visit this remarkable new exhibition on codes, ciphers, and cyber security at the Science Museum in Kensington (yes, one of the magnificent museums that entranced the young Oliver Sacks, as he writes about in Everything in Its Place).



The Sacks Team