Nurse Wolf is Manhattan's Queen of
Pain -- she gives pleasure by inflicting it, gains
pleasure from causing it. The neurologist Dr. Oliver
Sacks is her opposite, a diffuser of pain, a
Yet, for all their apparent differences, the
dominatrix and the doctor operate in a similar
territory: both are intensely involved with their
subjects, who have become friends and allies; both
have an almost shamanistic way of dealing with
unusual personalities; both regard such people as
'differently abled' -- insightful and misunderstood.
In Nurse Wolf and Dr. Sacks, Paul Theroux offers
two remarkable portraits. His book reveals the
'other side' of New York.