His brother Allen has just published a memoir that tackles Allen's many phobias. The NYTimes doesn't just compare it to Joan Didion's "Year Of Magical Thinking" because in this age of hype that isn't enough. They write that it's "a brave, eccentric and utterly compelling book that’s as revelatory and candid as anything ever written by Joan Didion, and as humane and scientifically fascinating as any one of Oliver Sacks’s case studies."
Well. I certainly was entertained by his list of phobias:
“I don’t like heights,” he writes. “I don’t like being on the water. I am upset by walking across parking lots or open parks or fields where there are no buildings. I tend to avoid bridges, unless they are on a small scale. I respond poorly to stretches of vastness but do equally badly when I am closed in, as I am severely claustrophobic. When I go to a theater, I sit on the aisle. I am petrified of tunnels, making most train travel as well as many drives difficult. I don’t take subways. I avoid elevators as much as possible. I experience glassed-in spaces as toxic, and I find it very difficult to adjust to being in buildings in which the windows don’t open.”