Book - 2015 | First edition.
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"In July 2013, Oliver Sacks turned eighty and wrote [a] ... piece in The New York Times about the prospect of old age and the freedom he envisioned for himself in binding together the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime. Eighteen months later, he was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer--which he announced publically in another piece in The New York Times. Gratitude is Sacks's meditation on why life [continued] to enthrall him even as he [faced] the all-too-close presence of his own death, and how to live out the months that [remained] in the richest and deepest way possible"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf ; Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf of Canada, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780451492937
Characteristics: xi, 45 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 18 cm


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jr3083 Jan 17, 2020

There is something that makes you slow down your reading when you realize that the author whose work you hold in your hand has little time left to live. When the author is as much published as Oliver Sacks is, you read with the hollow knowledge that you will not hear this narrative voice, or be drawn into this same narrative world again.

This small, beautifully produced hardback, contains four essays written in the last years of his life - and indeed, the final essay, 'Sabbath' was written within weeks of his death from metastasized liver cancer, stemming from a rare melanoma in his eye.  The essays are only about 8 to 10 pages in length, and you could read all four in one sitting if you wanted to. But to read them in a rush would feel somehow irreverent, and lacking in grace.

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Nov 10, 2019

A simple, concise and deep book. As Oliver Sacks reminisces and thanks the contributors to his full life, it gives us, who are so young, time to think about what a good person Sacks was and how we might want to follow him into the open arms of death when the time comes.

May 04, 2019

Short and beautiful memoir of a man reminicising of his past and accepting death. This is my first time reading a book by Oliver Sacks, but through this 45 page piece I feel like I've known him for much longer.

robertafsmith Jul 23, 2018

Roberta's Pick: Famous for writings such as The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, this small book of meditations by Dr Oliver Sacks is a beautiful read. Just 45 pages long and published just prior to his death at 82 from cancer, the four essays take in the full sweep of his life, his abiding belief in gratitude and his final words of wisdom on the power of retreating from the world as Jewish people do on the Sabbath. Pull back, eat with family and friends, let the world go its wild and woolly way all on its own for just twenty four little hours.

Jul 19, 2017

Extremely brief but poignant and simple: from the heart. I had never known - and didn't suspect either - that he was homosexual (at least he didn't make such a big fuss about it).

Oct 29, 2016

Short and lovely. A book I think I'd like to revisit when my death is closer. Thoughtful, simple. I may order it and add it to my "read to me when I'm dying" bookshelf.

Oct 25, 2016

Gratitude is a quick and wonderful read--just a glimpse into Sacks' feelings on coming to terms with his imminent death and his appreciation for a life well-lived.

Sep 23, 2016

This wonderful book is an interesting middle ground between emotional and stoic, a glimpse into the mindset of someone that is fully aware of their own pending death and their own ambivalence between fear and acceptance. Oliver Sacks is a terrific writer and this is a perfect ending to an illustrious career as a writer on neuroscience and hallucination. If you like this, read anything else from Sacks, or if you prefer your memoirs slightly more raw, William S Burroughs' final work, Last Words.

Jul 16, 2016

Short, lovely, thought provoking read. Written at the end of his life, these short pieces are full of gratitude for a life fully experienced.

Jul 09, 2016

A short, lovely read.

If you aren't familiar with the work of Oliver Sacks, I would recommend that you read one of his books on his neurological patients (like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat) before this one.

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