Lowell Handler is the author of the memoir Twitch and Shout. His photographs have appeared in Life, Newsweek, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and other publications. Handler appears in Oliver Sacks’s posthumous book Everything in its Place (2019), in the chapter “Travels with Lowell,” which chronicles Handler and Sacks’s trips together throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. He will be featured in Ric Burns’s forthcoming PBS documentary film Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, April 2020. (July 2019)
We were close for a long time. I was his photographer, colleague, friend, subject, and occasional collaborator. He used to say that he wanted to take off his white doctor’s coat and see Tourette’s in real life, outside a clinic or hospital. I facilitated this not only as a photographer, but also as someone with access to others with the same condition. In my travels with Oliver, I photographed the lives of patients, beyond the confines of the doctor’s office or examination room. Some said I was his “Tourette pet,” which I found endearing or insulting, depending on how it was said.