Praise for Huxley’s Hands

“Symons’s own explorations led to new revelations and insights about Huxley, as well as about her father. Both were ahead of their time, and their work resonates with the world today — and, of course, tomorrow.”

—BEN FONG-TORRES, former senior editor, Rolling Stone; columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; and an Emmy Award–winning broadcaster

“Allene Symons has written an intriguing combination of an Aldous Huxley biography, a smart daughter’s memoir of her father, and science—ranging from schizophrenia to paranormal consciousness to psychedelics. Several years ago, while going through boxes in her family’s garage, she found over one thousand photographs of hands, including Aldous Huxley’s, that her father had taken over a two-decade period. What was her aircraft engineer father trying to discover and how did he cross paths with Huxley? The answers are fascinating and sometimes mind-bending. (“Really? That happened? Wow!”) What other Huxley biographers have often glossed over or ignored—the mysterious Tuesday night gatherings at his house, for example—Symons searched for, found, and embraced. It’s an absorbing and beguiling read.”

—LISA SEE, author of China Dolls, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and On Gold Mountain

“When Allene Symons discovered that her father had been friends with Aldous Huxley, she set out to learn everything she could about their association. Aldous Huxley’s Hands is part memoir, part biography, and part inquiry into the politics of perception.”

LEIGH ANN HENION, author of Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World

“Aldous Huxley’s Hands is an engrossing biography of Huxley, a prominent twentieth-century author and major influence on today’s psychedelics and consciousness research. But it is also the story of the author’s father, an engineer, who discovered that patterns of ridges on the hands correspond to different abilities and diseases. His meticulous study was dismissed as mere palmistry, but today the discipline of dermatoglyphics shows that he was just a half-century ahead of his time. A fascinating, well-written account of two pioneers.”

—Dean Radin, PhD., chief scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences, and coeditor-in-chief, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing