OVERRIDE

Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens

How Synesthetes Color Their Worlds

Patricia Lynne Duffy; Foreword by Dr. Peter Grossenbacher, National Institute of Mental Health

Henry Holt and Co.

Imagine a world in which words have colors and sounds have tastes. In his autobiography, Vladimir Nabokov described this neurological phenomenon, which helped inspire David Hockney's sets for the Metropolitan Opera. Richard Feynman experienced it while formulating the quantum theory that won him a Nobel Prize.

Sometimes described as a blending of perceptions, synesthesia occurs when only one of the fives senses is aroused but two respond. Journalist Patricia Lynne Duffy draws from her own struggles and breakthroughs with synesthesia to help us better understand the condition, while describing some of the major theories surrounding it.

An illuminating examination of the world of synesthetes, Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens is a must-read for science and health buffs, as well as for artists, writers, and creative thinkers-or anyone generally intrigued by the brain, the senses, and perception.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens
chapter oneDRAWING COLORED WORDS FOR MY FATHERColors hide within everything, including the night.--KATHERINE VAZ, SAUDADE 
 
As far back as I can remember, letters of the alphabet, numbers, and words have been in color. But I also remember that in my preliterate days, before I knew how to read or write, each word evoked, in my mind's eye, its own unique and unchanging colorful design. Sometimes I drew pictures of the word-designs I "saw" and showed them, as I did all of my pictures, to my father.At that time, my father was home a lot. First, he
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens

"A fun and worthwhile read. Whether you're a nonsynesthete amused by colored words and shapely smells or a synesthete annoyed with the notion of 'cat' being a blue word (when it's clearly brown), either way you'll shake your head and marvel."--Salon.com

"A thought-provoking glimpse at how much is lurking in other people's minds-- and how little we know about it."--Detroit Free Press
"A fun and worthwhile read. Whether you're a nonsynesthete amused by colored words and shapely smells or a synesthete annoyed with the notion of 'cat' being a blue word (when it's clearly brown), either way you'll shake your head and marvel."--Salon.com

"A thought-provoking glimpse at how much is lurking in other people's minds-- and how little we know about it."--Detroit Free Press

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Patricia Lynne Duffy; Foreword by Dr. Peter Grossenbacher, National Institute of Mental Health

  • Patricia Lynne Duffy's essays and articles have appeared in the San
    Francisco Chronicle, Newsday, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ms., and many other magazines and newspapers. She is a co-founder of and a consultant to the American Synesthesia Association. She lives in New York City.
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens

How Synesthetes Color Their Worlds

Patricia Lynne Duffy; Foreword by Dr. Peter Grossenbacher, National Institute of Mental Health

  • e-Book

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Henry Holt and Co.

BACK