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In Vanity Fair, a rare look at the early career of Oliver Sacks. Lawrence Weschler, a close friend of Oliver Sacks, looks back on the life of the best-selling author and neurologist in the early ’80s. The neurologist and acclaimed author died today at the age of 82.

He wrote his first book, “Migraine,” in nine days. “It had gotten to the point,” he tells me, “where I said to myself, ‘Now look, Sacks, you really must write this thing. I’ll give you 10 days or else we’re going to have to kill ourselves.’ This worked. It scared me into starting.”

He says, “At times, the world seems rife with malevolence, chaos. I am almost overwhelmed, but then it suffices for me to perceive the spectacle of quiet goodness, say the Little Sisters of the Poor, and everything is all right.

“I see 10 patients a day and write 500 words on each meeting—a thousand patients a year, a thousand stories.”

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