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Hardcover Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens Book

ISBN: 0716740885

ISBN13: 9780716740889

Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens is a unique look at the quirky neurological phenomenon known as synesthesia. Sometimes described as a blending of perceptions, synesthesia occurs when one of the five... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

VERY important for synesthetes!

As a synesthete myself, I found this book thoroughly gripping. I found it at a used bookstore, flipped through it, then sat down and began to read it more thoroughly. I can't tell you how surprised I was to discover that most people DON'T see or feel music, DON'T dream in color, DON'T experience what synesthetes do. I'd never heard the word "synesthesia" before, and I assumed we were all the same. Duffy's book showed me that, no, synesthesia is not shared by most of the population. Since then, I've been the subject of an interview on synesthesia, and I've taken part in some online synesthesia tests. Thank you, Patricia!

Destined to be a classic!

"Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens" is destined to be a classic. It is the first full-length, contemporary book by a synesthete about the phenomenon of synesthesia. Duffy describes her own experience as a synesthete as well as those of prominent artists, writers, scholars. She also tells of the pioneering neuroscientists who re-opened the field of synesthesia for academic study--and the promises this study holds for unlocking the mysteries of the brain.

The Colors of Emotions and Thoughts

This book is an original, off-beat and moving account of the world as viewed through an unusual lens. It shows the unique vision of the world of synesthetes--people who perceive words as having colors and music as having shapes. But in addition, the book tells of a very personal and touching relationship between a daughter who feels 'different' and a father who appreciates that difference. Recommended for those interested in science, psychology and things literary.

Informative and fun!

I first learned about the phenomenon of synesthesia in a review of Blue Cats in the journal Cerebrum, where Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, a world authority on synesthesia says, "This book is a delight. As far as I know, this is the first time a synesthete has written about what it is like to live with this neurological condition - one in which the senses are intermingled, so that the spoken word, "cat", for example, may consistently be experienced as blue." The review prompted me to get the book, which opened my eyes to the very different ways that people can perceive the world. I recommend `Blue Cats'


This is a wonderful book. Seeing the colors of the letters of the alphabet; feeling the shapes of the tastes of different foods-these are examples of synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that produces a "blending" or "combining" of sensory responses. Author, Patricia Lynne Duffy, a synesthete herself, uses her own experiences as the point of departure to take the reader on a journey that deftly illustrates the pervasiveness of this way of perceiving in the world and raises many deeply philosophical and sociological questions. In Ms. Duffy's young childhood, her father discovered that synesthesia existed as a documented neurological condition after he went searching for an answer as to why his daughter saw each of the letters of the alphabet in a specific color. Ms. Duffy's book moves from these intimate and extremely touching early synesthetic recollections into the broad and fascinating subject of synesthesia in the world at large. The book is a feast for the mind. We learn that the French symbolist poets Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Gautier were synesthetes. As is world-renowned painter David Hockney who uses the colors he sees in his syesthetic perceptions in his paintings. As does artist, Carol Steen. But even non-synesthetic artists such as Paul Klee and Georgia O'Keefe employed "techniques of transforming" that belong to the "blended" or "combined" sensory perceptions of the synesthetic experience. In exploring her subject, Patricia Duffy has given us a rich compilation of information that touches on almost every discipline: the arts, science, the brain, health, philosophy, religion. But most fascinating to this reader is the fundamental question that the book raises about the very nature of perception itself. As Dr. Peter Grossenbacher from the National Institute of Mental Health points out at the beginning of his foreword to the book, "William James, the father of American experimental psychology, observed that each mind has its own way of perceiving the world." How are we to regard this uniqueness of individual perception when as Ms. Duffy points out, "In life so much depends on the question, do you see what I see? that most basic of queries that binds human beings socially." And even among synesthetes, each person has their own individual synesthetic perception, the color of one synesthete's letter A, for example being different from another's. Perhaps the most intriguing idea of all that Ms. Duffy's book puts forth is in her wonderful chapter entitled, Everything Fights For Its Survival-Even A Perception: "Like every other living thing on this earth, a personal perception of reality, too, will fight for its survival. And, as with every other living thing on this earth, the only way to ensure survival is by learning to coexist with others vastly different."
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