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Gratitude
Cover of Gratitude
Gratitude
"My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure."
—Oliver Sacks
No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks.
During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death.
"It is the fate of every human being," Sacks writes, "to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death."
Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.
"Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the 'abnormal.' He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw."
—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
From the Hardcover edition.
"My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure."
—Oliver Sacks
No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks.
During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death.
"It is the fate of every human being," Sacks writes, "to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death."
Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.
"Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the 'abnormal.' He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw."
—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
From the Hardcover edition.
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About the Author-
  • OLIVER SACKS was born in 1933 in London and was educated at Queen's College, Oxford. He completed his medical training at San Francisco's Mount Zion Hospital and at UCLA before moving to New York, where he soon encountered the patients whom he would write about in his book Awakenings.
    Dr. Sacks spent almost fifty years working as a neurologist and wrote many books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia, and Hallucinations, about the strange neurological predicaments and conditions of his patients. The New York Times referred to him as "the poet laureate of medicine," and over the years he received many awards, including honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Royal College of Physicians. His memoir, On the Move, was published shortly before his death in August 2015.
    For more information, please visit www.oliversacks.com.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Buckley offers a reasonable proposal for a national service program without jail or criminal penalties. Narrator Lawrence reads with a slow and careful announcer's voice; one wishes Buckley were reading this one himself. Books on Tape does its usual quality job with formatting, packaging and tape-turning instructions. The reader repeats the last sentence at such times, so you're sure you haven't missed anything. Popular nonfiction collections will appreciate Gratitude, and the topic is likely to prove timely in the years ahead. D.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine This collection of four beautiful essays, published in the NEW YORK TIMES shortly before Oliver Sacks's death, feels like a last, parting gift from Sacks to listeners. In "Mercury," "My Own Life," "My Periodic Table," and "Sabbath," Sacks looks back over his long and accomplished life and faces his own mortality. More than anything, he's still filled with wonder at the world. Dan Woren, who also narrated Sacks's memoir, ON THE MOVE, reads in a firm and clear voice. One might wish for a slightly more intimate and personal tone, or for him to linger a bit over Sacks's turns of phrase, to better allow listeners to contemplate them. Nonetheless, Sacks's message resonates, rewarding multiple listens. J.M.D. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
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