Issue #13, 1999

The Brain: A Nonfiction Mystery

"Nonfiction mystery" is an apt way of describing this issue and the themes surrounding the brain itself, which, in addition to memory, include behavior, the creative process, intelligence and perspective. No matter how much time, effort or resources we invest in attempting to understand the brain and how it works, it remains elusive and daunting, which is perhaps why it has become the object of such attention. As has been aptly observed in one of these essays, it was Albert Einstein who noted: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the true source of all art and science."

This issue explores attempts to live normally with damaged brains, by Marilyn A. Gleman and Floyd Skloot, and with brains affected by drugs, by Megan Foss and Greg Bottoms. All are dramatic and tough illustrations of the complications that interfere with life when the brain is affected even slightly and subtly. Three scientists are also represented in this issue: Ronald Pies and David Goldblatt, both physicians, and James Glanz, a writer for Science magazine.

Although high-quality creative nonfiction is always three-dimensional in scope, this issue expands the content and spirit of the genre by adding a fourth realm. In collaboration with the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, one of the premier artistic institutions in the country, we have also captured the mystery of the brain in the way it best deserves--through creative depictions by some of the world's finest artists.

This issue is out of print.

Table of Contents

FROM THE EDITOR Lee Gutkind ... read more
Gray Area: Thinking With a Damaged Brain Floyd Skloot
Perspectivo Scientifico or, Where the Rays Convene, I Fix a Point Susan L. Rose
Not in Love With AAMI David Goldblatt
God, Glass, LSD: A Memory Greg Bottoms
Thoughtprints James Glanz
Scrambled Eggs Marilyn A. Gelman
The Music of the Brain, the Chemistry of the Lute Ronald Pies
East of Everything Megan Foss
COVER TO COVER: Reviews of New Books
Special Section: Romancing the Brain


Greg Bottoms

Greg Bottoms is the author of Angelhead: My Brother's Descent Into Madness (University of Chicago Press), an Esquire "Book of the Year" in... read more

Megan Foss

Megan Foss earned her MA at Western Washington University. read more

Marilyn A. Gelman

Marilyn A. Gelman's work has appeared in the New York Times, Modern Romances, and Footwork: The Paterson Literary Review. Before a BMW hit... read more

James Glanz

James Glanz received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and is currently a writer at Science magazine. His work has appeared in a wide... read more

David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt, M.D., is Professor Emeritus of Neurology and the Medical Humanities at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and... read more

Ronald Pies

Ronald Pies, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical... read more

Susan L. Rose

Susan L. Rose is a writer, editor and translator working near Fribourg, Switzerland. Her most recent work is an adventure novel for middle-... read more

Floyd Skloot

Floyd Skloot's memoir, In the Shadow of Memory (Nebraska, 2003), won the PEN Center USA Literary Award. The sequel, A World of Light, will... read more