‘Oliver Sacks: His Own Life’ Review: A Calm Celebration of the Beloved Science Writer and His Many Chapters

‘Oliver Sacks: His Own Life’ Review: A Calm Celebration of the Beloved Science Writer and His Many Chapters
Oliver Sacks is the kind of subject for whom any portrait has an extremely high floor. There’s a patience and an accessibility in his written work that, if mirrored in the approach of any kind of biography, offers a welcome kind of clarity.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life” uses conversations with Sacks himself as a kind of rudder, a personal guide through the many of the chapters of his own story. Beginning with an overview of Sacks’ early years spent adrift and following through to an unexpected second act as a bestselling writer, Ric Burns’ documentary offers a calm and measured look at Sacks’ legacy.

One of the other built-in benefits of profiling Sacks is the wealth of written accounts he left during his life, not just in the published works that have become standard entry points into accessible understandings of the neurological field. A refrain that comes through
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