Book Explores Early Advocate of Hallucinogens


5 write stuff huxley's_hi_coverLocal author Allene Symons will discuss her latest book, “Aldous Huxley’s Hands: His Quest for Perception and the Origin and Return of Psychedelic Science” at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10 at Laguna Beach Books, 1200 S. Coast Highway.

Symons had no inkling that Aldous Huxley was once a friend of her aircraft-engineer father’s until the summer of 2001 when she discovered a box of her dad’s old photographs. Through interviews, road trips, and family documents, the author reconstructs a time peaking in mid-1950s Los Angeles when Huxley experimented with psychedelic substances, ran afoul of gatekeepers, and advocated responsible use of such hallucinogens to treat mental illness as well as to achieve states of mind called mystical.

The author is an instructor of communications and media studies at Santa Ana College. She previously worked as a senior editor at Publishers Weekly.

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