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The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     What would you say to a man who would not recognize his own leg, or to a man who mistook his wife for a hat? The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat is a collection of 20 stories involving Oliver Sacks’ patients. His patients may have coordination disorders, cerebral palsy, Tourette’s, or other neurological disorders. When people hear the title, they may think the book will be humorous, but it is not.

In all of Sacks’ stories, one factor stands out. He shares his experiences with readers to dispel prejudice against people who are different because of their problems. One very important truth that Sacks tries to incorporate into his life and work is that one can respect others no matter what their limitations may be. That belief is probably what motivated him to write this book.

I agree that people with problems deserve the respect and dignity a “normal” person receives. Why should someone who is different be ostracized?

This is a memorable book because of Sacks’ description of each patient. My favorite is the last chapter, “The Autistic Artist.” When Sacks tells his patient Jose to draw his pocket watch, one of the nurses tells Sacks, “He’s an idiot. Don’t even ask him. He don’t know what it is. He can’t tell time. He can’t even talk. They say he’s autistic, but he’s just an idiot.” Sacks doesn’t let this deter him and encourages Jose to draw the watch. To his surprise, Jose creates an incredibly accurate rendition. Another reason this is my favorite chapter is because it demonstrates that people who have been dismissed as “defective” can be good at something.

This book has truly moved me with its perspective. No one should judge a person by what’s “wrong” with them. Instead they should look at their other qualities. Before when I ran into these people, I would turn away, but now I know that they’re not so different from me. I don’t plan on working in a facility that cares for the mentally disabled, but it is good to know about neurological disorders.

What is sad is how people judge others before they know them. Sacks has taught me that everyone deserves respect, no matter who they are. Everyone should read this book.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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ramfthomas4This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 1, 2013 at 7:49 pm:
My pastor referenced this book in his sermon and was very impressed.  I may have to read it!
 
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Olivia22Sherman said...
Nov. 30, 2012 at 4:19 am:
It is well known that money makes people disembarrass. But how to act if someone has no money? The only one way is to receive the business loans or sba loan.
 
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HopeIsWhatWeCrave said...
Nov. 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm:
I actually went and read this book because of your review! Thanks so much. I gave it 5 stars.
 
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Sarah_jay said...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 9:48 am:
I think I might read this book, Thanks for the review
 
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