The Island of the Colour-blind

Oliver Sacks

‘Sacks is rightly renowned for his empathy . . . anyone with a taste for the exotic will find this beautifully written book highly engaging’ Sunday Times

Always fascinated by islands, Oliver Sacks is drawn to the Pacific by reports of the tiny atoll of Pingelap, with its isolated community of islanders born totally colour-blind; and to Guam, where he investigates a puzzling paralysis endemic there for a century. Along the way, he re-encounters the beautiful, primitive island cycad trees – and these become the starting point for a meditation on time and evolution, disease and adaptation, and islands both real and metaphorical.

‘This is a wonderful book, made better by Sacks’ exceptionally gentle descriptions of patients. He also captures the unimaginable sadness of the Pacific’ Spectator

‘There is no one at the present time who writes like Oliver Sacks . . . He is a superb clinician who can take a seemingly arid and obscure medical condition, and convert it into a moving, personal odyssey, a testament of tenacity, courage and will’ Literary Review

Genre: Non-Fiction
ISBN: 978033052610401
Published: 04/07/2012

Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks

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, includingThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a HatMusicophilia, 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 honours from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Royal College of Physicians. In 2008, he was appointed Commander of the British Empire. His memoir, On the Move, was published shortly before his death in August 2015.

For more information on Dr. Sacks’s work, please visit www.oliversacks.com.

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