Synopses & Reviews
Since childhood, Oliver Sacks has been fascinated by ferns: an ancient class of plants able to survive and adapt in many climates. Along with a delightful group of fellow fern aficionados—mathematicians, poets, artists, and assorted botanists and birders—he embarks on an exploration of Southern Mexico, a region that is also rich in human history and culture. He muses on the origins of chocolate and mescal, pre-Columbian culture and hallucinogens, the vibrant sights and sounds of the marketplace, and the peculiar passions of botanists. What other species would comb ancient Zapotec ruins on their hands and knees, searching for a new type of fern? Combining Sacks's enthusiasm for natural history and the richness of humanity with his sharp and observant eye for detail, Oaxaca Journal is a rare treat.
The best-selling author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks is well know as an explorer of the human mind-a neurologist with a gift for complex, insightful portrayals of people and their conditions. However, he is also a card-carrying member of the American Fern Society, and since childhood has been fascinated by these primitive plants and their ability to survive and adapt in many climates.
Oaxaca Journal is Sacks's spellbinding account of his trip with a group of fellow fern enthusiasts to the beautiful, history-steeped province of Oaxaca, Mexico. Bringing together Sacks's passion for natural history and the richness of human culture with his sharp eye for detail, Oaxaca Journal is a captivating evocation of a place, its plants, its people, and its myriad wonders.
About the Author
Oliver Sacks is a practicing physician and the author of more than ten books, including Musicophilia, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Awakenings (which inspired the Oscar-nominated film). He lives in New York City, where he is professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and the first Columbia University Artist.