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.

Download Image Patricia Lynne Duffy; Foreword by Dr. Peter Grossenbacher, National Institute of Mental Health Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens

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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.

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Book Excerpts

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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.

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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

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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.

Patricia Lynne Duffy

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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 Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
April 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429928274
ISBN10: 1429928271
192 pages, Includes sixteen pages of color pictures
$7.99
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Henry Holt and Co.

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