- 115,00 kr
**SUNDAY TIMES BESTELLER**
This book is about learning to live.
Echoing Socrates’ statement that the unexamined life not worth living, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz draws on his twenty-five years of work and more than 50,000 hours of conversations to form a collection of beautifully rendered tales that illuminate the human experience.
These are stories about everyday lives: from a woman who finds herself daydreaming as she returns home from a business trip to a young man loses his wallet, to the more extreme examples: the patient who points an unloaded gun at a police officer and the compulsive liar who convinces his wife he's dying of cancer. The resulting journey will spark new ideas about who we are and why we do what we do.
‘This moving book will make the reader think of Freud’s keenly observed and literary-minded case studies…piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks’ New York Times
‘Grosz is a superb storyteller and tells lots of his patients' stories with sensitivity, but also with great acuity. You might keep thinking you recognise things about people you know’ Evening Standard.
Grosz could get technical if he wanted to he teaches clinical technique and psychoanalytic theory at London's Institute of Psychoanalysis and University College London, respectively but he believes the best way to prove the power of storytelling is to practice what he preaches. Drawing from two decades of experience as a working psychoanalyst, Grosz bases the bulk of his claims on the tales of his patients, which range from traumatic boarding school experiences to failed romances and terminal illness. They are compassionately told and eminently readable, but skeptical readers will likely lament the lack of scientific analysis. But then again, that's Grosz's whole point science needn't be at the forefront if cathartic personal narrative is the focus. The crucial role of storytelling in forming one's sense of self and of the world seems to be a given among psychoanalysts and writers, but Grosz goes further to demonstrate the ways in which stories, when unspoken, manifest themselves as symptoms of psychological distress. Quick leaps from focused accounts to grand conclusions sometimes disrupt the rhetorical arc of the book, though this in itself might be in keeping with the overall idea that narratives are messy, unpredictable, and somehow, in spite of all of these things, inherently useful if not always in the words, then in the silences between them.