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Join us on Thursday, February 22 at 7 PM as Sue Barry presents her new book, Dear Oliver: An Unexpected Friendship with Oliver Sacks.
In this intimate and inspiring book, Susan Barry shares the heartfelt letters through which she and Oliver Sacks became friends, laying bare the meeting of two people endlessly intrigued by the world and its mysteries.
When Susan Barry first wrote to Oliver Sacks, she never expected a response, let alone the deep friendship that blossomed over ten years of letters. Now, she is sharing those letters for the first time.
It began when Sue—a neuroscientist—wrote to share an extraordinary development in her medical history. Severely cross-eyed since birth, Sue had been told she would never acquire stereovision—the ability to see in 3D—and yet she did, a development at odds with decades of research. Within days, Oliver replied, “Your letter fills me with amazement and admiration.”
In a painful twist of fate, as Sue’s vision improves, Oliver’s declines. And as it becomes harder for him to see, his characteristic small type shifts to handwritten letters. Sue later recognizes this to be early signs of the cancer that ultimately ends his life. These letters are a joyful celebration of, as Oliver writes, a “deep and stimulating friendship” that “has been a wonderful and unexpected addition to my life.”
Susan R. Barry is professor emerita of biological sciences and of neuroscience and behavior at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions, named a best book of the year by Amazon and Library Journal, and Coming to Our Senses. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Big Think, Science Friday, FreshAir, and Morning Edition. She lives in Massachusetts.
This event is free and open to the public, but we ask that you RSVP
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