This week, I’ve received three books which I’ll be writing about in the near future:
- My Lobotomy, by Howard Dully and Charles Fleming. Dully was lobotomized at the age of 12 at the behest of his stepmother – that’s him on the right, holding an instrument identical to the one he was lobotomized with; this book is his memoir.
- The Lobotomist, by Jack El-Hai, a biography of Walter Freeman, the psychiatrist who, in 1960, performed Dully’s lobotomy.
- The Body Has a Mind of Its Own, by Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee. This is about the somatosensory cortex, that part of the brain on which the body is mapped. As well as mediating the sense of touch, the somatosensory system is also involved in how we percieve our bodies. Thus it is the changes in the functioning of this system that underly conditions such phantom limb syndrome and, perhaps, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulemia.
I’m looking forward to reading all three of these books. I’ll review The Body has a Mind of Its Own here soon. And I’ll read My Lobotomy and The Lobotomist together, and write a follow-up to my post about the lobotomy. (Meanwhile, here’s a review of My Lobotomy from yesterday’s NY Times.)