For most of us, seeing is so intrinsic, it seems closer than our fingertips. When we lose our sight or it is altered in some unexpected way, our perceptions are often reconstructed in radical ways. Oliver Sack's The Mind's Eye ventures into this dark terrain through the case histories of six individuals whose lives have been affected by changes in their vision. The neurologist/psychiatrist includes himself among the subjects, discussing his experiences after a tumor appeared in one of his eyes. As always, the author who approaches subjects with freshness of an anthropologist on Mars (a title of one of his books) illuminates a topic close at hand. Bound to be a bestseller.
The Mind's Eye is a collection of essayssome of which have already appeared in The New Yorkerbut it has a remarkably graceful coherence of theme, tone and approach. Once again, Sacks explores our shared condition through a series of vivid characters…Sacks would seem to be the ideal doctor: observant but accepting, thorough but tender, training his full attention on one patient at a time. For the patient's benefit and for ours, he illuminates every uncanny detail, brings out every excruciating irony.