Oaxaca Journal

Publisher: Vintage Canada
"I have been an inveterate keeper of journals since I was 14 especially at times of adventure and crisis and travel. Here, for the first time, such a journal made its way to publication, not that much changed from the raw, handwritten journal that I kept during my fascinated 9 days in Oaxaca." Dr. Oliver Sacks
 
Oliver Sacks is best known as an explorer of the human mind, a neurologist with a gift for the complex, insightful portrayals of people and their conditions that fuel the phenomenal success of his books. But he is also a card-carrying member of the American Fern Society, and since childhood has been fascinated by these primitive plants and their ability to survive and adapt. Now the bestselling author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat brings his ceaseless curiosity and eye for the wondrous to the province of Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca Journal is Sacks's spellbinding account of his trip with a group of fellow fern enthusiasts to the beautiful, history-steeped province of Oaxaca. Bringing together Sacks's passion for natural history and the richness of human culture with his penetrating curiosity and trammeling eye for detail, Oaxaca Journal is a captivating evocation of a places, its plants, its people and its myriad wonders.

READ AN EXCERPT

Friday
I am on my way to Oaxaca to meet up with some botanical friends for a fern foray, looking forward to a week away from New York’s icy winter. The plane itself—an AeroMexico flight—has an atmosphere quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We are scarcely off the ground before everyone gets up...
Read More

PRAISE FOR

“He lovingly relays what the group’s excellent guide imparted of Oaxaca’s history, its indigenes, the Zapotecs, and their ancient culture; he rhapsodizes over ruins and the technological and intellectual powers they bespeak; and he admires the people, the many exotic foods, the vistas, and the age-old industries of the towns he visits—all of this while his fellow travelers mostly keep on ferning. He says he wants to go back. Take us along, Dr. Sacks—please!”
Booklist
 
“Light and fast-moving, unburdened by library research but filled with erudition.... Among the botanical and anthropological observations, one catches glimpses of Sacks’s inner life.”
The New Yorker
 
“Like all the best journals, [Oaxaca Journal] has a rich immediacy…. A rare treat.
The Globe and Mail