Dr. Oliver Sacks: American Masters Biopic

Posted on April 23, 2021


I LOVE Oliver Sacks!

In 1991, a car crash led to a brain injury, and my interest in what happens in the brain–and how–grew exponentially. While it has been a lifelong interest, struggling with the problems caused by my brain injury ignited a passion to learn about brains that has shaped my research in countless ways. As an educator, my understanding of the variety of ways brains do their thing was foundational in designing lessons and courses that give students voice and choice in solving the problems posed in Language Arts.

In 1991, I read The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, and it really eased my mind in dealing with the frustrating, disturbing, and bizarre effects of my brain injury. His writing style is like a favorite candy to my brain, and I’ve read many of his books, and I plan to read them all. If Dr. Sacks has something to say, I want to hear it! Fortunately, he appeared many times in the media, on shows like Radiolab and in many public talks, oftentimes as an award recipient or honoree. I learn a lot AND get great comfort from listening to one of my favorite atheists. His calm demeanor and warm heart give me a feeling of being embraced and accepted unconditionally as fully human, fragile, and revered. I am profoundly grateful for Ollie’s life and work.

Oliver Sacks made a tremendous impact in health care on many fronts, and if you don’t yet know Ollie, I invite you to watch the new American Masters documentary, Oliver Sacks, His Own Life, which is currently streaming online. Enjoy!

Oliver Sacks has been the subject of a previous blog post; he also shows up in my comics. Here are some drawings inspired by Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, his 2007 book.

Oliver Sacks made the world a better place. I am grateful.

lisa eddy is a writer and editor for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy
On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com