A Leg to Stand On
‘Oliver Sacks is a perfect antidote to the anaesthetic of familiarity. His writing turns brains and minds transparent’ Observer
When Oliver Sacks, a physician by profession, injured his leg while climbing a mountain, he found himself in an unusual position – that of patient. The injury itself was severe, but straightforward to fix; the psychological effects, however, were far less easy to predict, explain, or resolve: Sacks experienced paralysis and an inability to perceive his leg as his own, instead seeing it as some kind of alien and inanimate object, over which he had no control. A Leg to Stand On is both an account of Sacks’ ordeal and subsequent recovery, and an exploration of the ways in which mind and body are inextricably linked.
In the media
In every way a marvellously rich and thoughtful tale.
Oliver Sacks is a neurologist, a man of humane eloquence, and a genuine communicator. The value of this book lies in its willingness to combine the technical and the demonic, to admit poetry and philosophy and the religious impulse. It is also intensely personal, and affirms the community of human experience.
A remarkable, generous, vivid and thoroughly intelligent piece of writing.