“On the Move” (2015), by Oliver Sacks, is an autobiographical book that I will recommend to my clients. Sacks is perhaps best known for his book “Awakenings” (1973), which was made into a popular movie by the same title in 1990, starring Robin Williams.
Sacks trained as a physician in England in the 1950s. He became a neurologist at a time before neuroscience or neuropsychology were even fields, and shares a number of valuable, historical stories about working with his patients as neurology emerged over the last 60 years.
I was pleased to discover, as I read “On the Move,” that Sacks, now 80, is gay. He weaves this information as a minor thread that runs through the first half of the book. Sacks writes openly about his parents’ reaction to his coming out to them in the 1950s, and about his years of drug use and risk-taking that followed in the 1960s. He lived in Oxford, London, San Francisco and New York during this period and recounts several of his experiences in an unguarded way.
I say I was pleased to discover that Sacks is gay because I am constantly on the look-out for inspiring autobiographical books that recount the experiences of a gay man to recommend to clients. This refreshingly honest book will be of value to everyone that also must also cope with barriers that societies have erected.
You can follow this link to read a detailed book review in The Guardian of On the Move by Oliver Sacks.
*Oliver Sacks died in August 2015 at the age of 82.
Dr. Patricia Turner, Registered Psychologist, Calgary, Alberta
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