The Frontal Cortex

Proust Was A Neuroscientist

So my book, Proust Was A Neuroscientist, is now shipping from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It might even be in your local bookstore. I’ll do my best not to turn this blog into an orgy of self-promotion, but feel free to check out some of the early blurbs (from Oliver Sacks, Joe Ledoux, Antonio Damasio and others) and nice reviews. And stay tuned for news about the book tour, which begins in November…



  1. #1 Dave Munger
    October 16, 2007


  2. #2 Zeke Templin
    October 16, 2007

    Congratulations Jonah! I pre-ordered my copy from Amazon many months ago and can’t wait to read it.

  3. #3 Steve Silberman
    October 16, 2007

    Mazel tov, Jonah! It’s a wonderful book — one of the most quietly provocative and well-written books I’ve read in the last couple of years.

  4. #4 John Brown
    October 17, 2007

    I have not read the book yet. I certainly will. There is a tradition in finding connections in diverse fields, therefore this contribution is most welcome. Professor Arnold Weinstein, of the Brown University, for example, has lectured upon “Using Literature to Understand the Human Side of Medicine”. I suspect there are many similar examples. Finding connections from seemingly diverse fields is a function of the creative process. If more neurologist were grounded in literature, it seems certain such insights would be more common. The question that come to mind is what is knowledge? And what can be inferred from it. Clearly, science had not as yet, paralleled the insights that can be draw from a proper interpretation of the literature of Proust, or much earlier writers and thinkers. As well, this begs the question, “is there anything new in heaven or earth”. Therefore, so it seems to me, the importance of a truly liberal education is an important key the kind of insight that Johan Lehrers’ scholarship has achieved. I believe he has pointed a way, for many of us, to a truer understanding and insight into any field of endeavor. There are lessons to be learned here. Finally, do we have the “courage” to learn them?

  5. #5 Peggy
    October 18, 2007

    If Oliver Sacks says it’s good, then it must be. I revere him; he’s a great scientist and an even better writer. Please come to Seattle on your book tour (Town Hall or the University of Washington would be good venues). I will try and get my bookclub (we are an eclectic group) to read your book, and will read it whether or not my fellow members agree to dive in.

  6. #6 Kare Anderson
    October 18, 2007

    After finding this blog I bought your book, read it non-styop on a flight and was so enthused (fascinating, understandable and of interest to many kinds of people) that i convinced our book group to discuss it in Nov.
    No I am not Jonah’s mom – just a former journalist with a lifelong fascination in mind, behavior, creativity

    Kudos to you!

  7. #7 Jonah
    October 18, 2007

    Thank you very much for all the kind words and support. It means a lot. As you can probably imagine, the weeks before a book comes out are a very anxious time for me – I’ve been waking up in lots of cold sweats – so it’s so nice to hear nice things. Thanks.

  8. #8 Ned Calder
    October 19, 2007

    This book is a rare gem! It was a pleasure to read for both the content and Jonah’s masterful use of language; a paragon for all those interested it writing for the ‘third culture’.

    Might I suggest somewhere along the Charles River, half-way between MIT and Harvard, as an appropriate (and self-serving), stop for the book tour!

  9. #9 Ted
    October 19, 2007

    Jonah – The book is lovely – learned, insightful, and accessible, I enjoyed it tremendously. What an accomplishment!

  10. #10 Bettina
    October 30, 2007

    Hi Jonah, I read a review of your book in the LA Times and do plan to read your book now. What I wanted to comment upon is the great quote in the review as to your commentary about Igor Stravinsky. I believe what is quoted from your book is as follows,”…Stravinsky’s insight was that what the audience really wanted was to be denied what it wanted.” I work in movie and TV development, screenwriting and teaching and am currently writing a piece about metaphorical imagery in movies. What resonated for me about this quote is that this idea of denying the audience indeed carries tremendous psychological truth for viewers where this is translated into films. Coming across your quote was really perfect and germane to what I am grappling with in understanding visual metaphor in film. What do you think?

  11. #11 Shelia
    December 28, 2010

    Agreed, very well written and can’t wait for the second half.

  12. #12 Georgina
    January 2, 2011

    I have Tweeted this, I will keep a eye on your other posts using my rss feeder. Its holiday time have you tried a Ibiza? if so where did you stay

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