The Mind’s Eye

Publisher: Vintage Canada
From the author of the #1 national bestselling Musicophilia comes a truly visionary book: an exploration of the remarkable, unpredictable ways that our brains cope with the loss of sight by finding new forms of perception to create worlds as complete and rich as the no-longer-visible world.

Following the phenomenal success of his international bestseller Musicophilia, the inimitable Oliver Sacks returns with another book on the extraordinary interaction between our brain and our senses — in this case, vision. In The Mind's Eye, Sacks examines questions ranging from the primary experiences of how we perceive depth or color or motion to the complex matter of how different individuals have varied ways of thinking and experiencing or recreating the visual world. Like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, Sacks's new book is based primarily on individual stories — including Sacks's own experience of an ocular tumor that left him unable to perceive depth. As always, he embeds these case histories in a rich historical and scientific context. Sacks goes beyond basic vision to explore perception, hallucination and the power of visualization, as well as the ocular effects of migraine, epilepsy and other conditions. Oliver Sacks is our perfect guide to the visual world, a realm that, it turns out, is much, much more complicated than we could have imagined.

From the Hardcover edition.


Sight Reading
In January of 1999, I received the following letter:
Dear Dr. Sacks,
My (very unusual) problem, in one sentence, and in non-medical terms, is: I can’t read. I can’t read music, or anything else. In the ophthalmologist’s office, I can...
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A Financial Times Best Book
A Globe and Mail Best Book
A New York Times Notable Book
“Compelling. . . . Uplifting. . . . One more chance to bask in an extraordinary man’s irrepressible belief in the human potential to do more than survive the travails of our fragility.”
Edmonton Journal
“Awe-inspiring. . . . A deeply moving book.”
—Norman Doidge, The Globe and Mail
—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
“Sacks invites readers to imagine their way into minds unlike their own, encouraging a radical form of empathy. . . . The Mind’s Eye expresses a stubborn hope.”
Los Angeles Times
“Frank and moving. . . . His books resonate because they reveal as much about the force of character as they do about neurology.”
“It is a measure of his artistry that Sacks slots such funk and anxiety into a book that’s mostly about the plasticity and adaptability of the human brain; a book that busily celebrates the indomitability of people.”
The Telegraph

From the Hardcover edition.