Friday, August 19, 2005
Until I came across Oliver Sack's latest book Oaxaca Journal,I had never heard of the term pteridologist, which apparently means "an expert in the study of ferns." Besides being a fern enthusiast and a neurologist, Sacks is a perceptive and empathetic travel writer. His journal is based on a ten-day tour of the biologically diverse state of Oaxaca that he took with fellow members of the American Fern Society. Sacks eruditely describes the varied flora and fauna that he encounters on his journey. He also paints insightful and affectionate portraits of his eccentric traveling companions and of this culturally rich area of Mexico. The result is a book that will appeal to both fern-lovers and Mexicophiles alike.