The Examined Life

The Examined Life

How We Lose and Find Ourselves

Book - 2013
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Random House, Inc.

The everyday world bedevils us. To make sense of it, we tell ourselves stories. Here, in short, vivid, dramatic tales, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz draws from his twenty-year practice to track the collaborative journey of therapist and patient as they uncover the hidden feelings behind ordinary behavior. A woman finds herself daydreaming as she returns home from a business trip; a young man loses his wallet. We learn, too, from more extreme examples: the patient who points an unloaded gun at a police officer, the compulsive liar who convinces his wife he's dying of cancer. These beautifully rendered tales illuminate the fundamental pathways of life from birth to death. They invite compassionate understanding, suggesting answers to the questions that compel and disturb us most about love and loss, parents and children, work and change. The resulting journey will spark new ideas about who we are and why we do what we do.



Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, c2013
ISBN: 9780307359100
Branch Call Number: 150.195 GRO
Characteristics: xii, 225 p. ;,22 cm.

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manoush Dec 29, 2014

This is a series of brief case histories that the psychoanalyst has encountered throughout his career, including one affecting vignette involving Grosz's father. Grosz does very little to orient or lead the reader in analyzing each patient's story. He simply tells the story and mostly leaves it up to the reader to make sense of it on her own, with minimal analysis and insight. In that sense the case histories read like inscrutable short stories, open to multiple and conflicting interpretations. The first cluster of cases are the most obvious to decipher; they're all cases of adults who have been profoundly damaged by abuse or neglect during childhood. But the rest of the case histories strike out in different directions, some of them about individual idiosyncracies or traumas or illnesses. There's a cumulatively melancholy effect to reading this book, probing as it does the sobering terrain of psychic trauma and unhappiness.

r
RazorSteel
Mar 19, 2014

I can't remember why I chose to read this book... Either recommended to me or I read about it in an article. Anyway, The Examined Life was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I'm glad I found it.

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