In the same vein as An Anthropologist on Mars, this book is a collection of twenty-four stories describing various neurological patients. They suffer from a wide variety of maladies involving perception- a woman who cannot tell where parts of her body are located, a man who has entirely lost his sense of balance, various patients with phantom limbs, Tourette’s syndrome, strange kinds of memory loss and more.
I first came across this book when a college roommate was reading it years ago. The title story seemed so bizarre I was a bit incredulous. The experiences related in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat are a bit harder to relate to than those in An Anthropologist– it’s easier to imagine what it’s like to be a blind man with restored sight than a person who continually perceives one object to be another entirely. If anything, that makes this book even more fascinating.