The Island of the Colour-blind

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Pan Macmillan Australia Pty, Limited, 1996 - Chamorro (Micronesian people) - 345 pages
6 Reviews
Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands - their remoteness, their mystery, above all the unique forms of life they harbor. For him. islands conjure up equally the romance of Melville and Stevenson, the adventure of Magellan and Cook, and the scientific wonder of Darwin and Wallace. Drawn to the tiny Pacific atoll of Pingelap by intriguing reports of an isolated community of islanders born totally colorblind, Sacks finds himself setting up a clinic in a one-room dispensary, where he listens to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow. And on Guam. where he goes to investigate the puzzling neurodegenerative paralysis endemic there for a century, he becomes, for a brief time, an island neurologist, making house calls with his colleague John Steele, amid crowing cockerels, cycad jungles and remains of a colonial culture.

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User Review  - krazy4katz - LibraryThing

I enjoyed the first part of the book immensely, as it was about true colorblindness. People see everything in shades of gray. As a scientist who works on vision, it was fascinating to read the way ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mirrani - LibraryThing

To have a book cover the topic of genetic issues and illnesses like colorblindness and lytico-bodig was interesting. To find it quotable made it thoroughly enjoyable. I was quite surprised at how much ... Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Oliver Sacks was born in London, England on July 9, 1933. He received a medical degree from Queen's College, Oxford University and performed his internship at Middlesex Hospital in London and Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco. He completed his residency at UCLA. In 1965, he became a clinical neurologist to the Little Sisters of the Poor and Beth Abraham Hospital. His work in a Bronx charity hospital led him to write the book Awakenings in 1973. The book inspired a play by Harold Pinter and became a film starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. His other works included An Anthropologist on Mars, The Mind's Eye, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Uncle Tungsten, Musicophilia, A Leg to Stand On, On the Move: A Life, and Gratitude. In 2007, he ended his 42-year relationship with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine to accept an interdisciplinary teaching position at Columbia. In 2012, he returned to the New York University School of Medicine as a professor of neurology. He died of cancer on August 30, 2015 at the age of 82.

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