Featuring a foreword by renowned neuroscientist Joseph E. LeDoux, The Elusive Brain is an illuminating, comprehensive survey of contemporary literature's engagement with neuroscience. This fascinating book explores how literature interacts with neuroscience to provide a better understanding of the brain's relationship to the self.
Jason Tougaw surveys the work of contemporary writers--including Oliver Sacks, Temple Grandin, Richard Powers, Siri Hustvedt, and Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay--analyzing the way they experiment with literary forms to frame new views of the immaterial experiences that compose a self. He argues that their work offers a necessary counterbalance to a wider cultural neuromania that seeks out purely neural explanations for human behaviors as varied as reading, economics, empathy, and racism. Building on recent scholarship, Tougaw's evenhanded account will be an original contribution to the growing field of neuroscience and literature.
Jason Tougaw is associate professor of English at Queens College, City University of New York. He is the author of The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism and Strange Cases: The Medical Case History and the British Novel. He blogs at californica.net.