Lawrence Weschler presents And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?

A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks

23 October 2019

Lawrence Weschler presents And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?

Date: Monday, October 28, 2019
Time: 5:30-7:00 pm
Loc: Telus 134, University of Alberta

Long-time New Yorker writer and noted non-fiction author Lawrence Weschler comes to the U of Alberta Campus to present his most recent book, And How Are You, Dr. Sacks? A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks. The presentation is sponsored by the Mediating Science and Technology Signature Area and the Kule Institute for Advanced Study.

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The author Lawrence Weschler began spending time with Oliver Sacks in the early 1980s, when he set out to profile the neurologist for his own new employer, The New Yorker. Almost a decade earlier, Dr. Sacks had published his masterpiece Awakenings-the account of his long-dormant patients' miraculous but troubling return to life in a Bronx hospital ward. But the book had hardly been an immediate success, and the rumpled clinician was still largely unknown. Over the ensuing four years, the two men worked closely together until, for wracking personal reasons, Sacks asked Weschler to abandon the profile, a request to which Weschler acceded. The two remained close friends, however, across the next thirty years and then, just as Sacks was dying, he urged Weschler to take up the project once again. This book is the result of that entreaty.

Lawrence Weschler, a graduate of Cowell College at UC Santa Cruz (1974), was for twenty years a staff writer at The New Yorker (1981-2001), where his work shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies, and then for thirteen years (2001-2014) the director, now emeritus, of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, where he insisted on counting the sciences as one of the crowning jewels of "the humanities." He has been a regular contributor, among others, to the New York Times magazine, Vanity Fair, Harper's, McSweeney's, The Believer--and is the author of coming on twenty books, including Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees (a life of artist Robert Irwin); Mr Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder (on the Museum of Jurassic Technology); Vermeer in Bosnia; Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences; Waves Passing in the Night (on Walter Murch in the land of the astrophysicists), and now, And How Are You, Doctor Sacks? (a biographical memoir of his thirty-five-year friendship with the neurologist Oliver Sacks).

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