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This book is about learning to live. In simple stories of encounter between a psychoanalyst and his patients, The Examined Life reveals how the art of insight can illuminate the most complicated, confounding and human of experiences.
We are all storytellers – we make stories to make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen.
In his work as a practising psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last twenty-five years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour. The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon.
This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening and understanding. Its aphoristic and elegant stories teach us a new kind of attentiveness. They also unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work, and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to him as to the patient.
These are stories about our everyday lives: they are about the people we love and the lies that we tell; the changes we bear, and the grief. Ultimately, they show us not only how we lose ourselves but how we might find ourselves too.
"I couldn't put this down - I read about other people, but learned about myself at the same time. Real stories can be so much more fascinating than fictional ones, especially with Stephen Grosz. No preaching, no cliches - just wisdom." -- Victoria Hislop "Grosz's vignettes are so brilliantly put together that they read like pieces of bare illuminating fiction... It is this combination of tenacious detective work, remarkable compassion and sheer, unending curiosity for the oddities of the human heart that makes these stories utterly captivating." Sunday Times "A fine and moving book... The tact, patience and understatement, which are particular components of Grosz's wisdom, remind the reader that this writer's insights and empathy result from thousand of hours with patients. This book is not polemical literature... nor is it an academic work or a popular self-help book. It is a true literary work and a very modern one." Jewish Chronicle "Engaging, frank, and with many penetrating insights. His short, succinct chapters have both the tension and the satisfaction of miniature detective or mystery stories... A stimulating book." The Spectator "Intensely readable... As a reminder of the strangeness of human existence, the myriad ways we find of making ourselves unhappy and the perplexing resourcefulness of the unconscious mind, Grosz's book is a worthwhile addition to the literature of the examined life." New Statesman "As each of Grosz's clients hits the couch, you find yourself anxiously reading these detective stories for what solution Sherlock Freud is going to come up with next... It is this combination of tenacious detective work, remarkable compassion and sheer, unending curiosity for the oddities of the human heart that makes these stories utterly captivating" -- Robert Collins Sunday Times "Written with real elegance and a strong sense of structure... several chapters read like powerful short stories" Readers Digest "Elegantly structured and written... Grosz's book is intensely readable" -- Jane Shilling New Statesmen "Grosz is an able writer, engaging, frank and with many penetrating insights. His short, succinct chapters have both the tension and the satisfaction of miniature detective or mystery stories... a stimulating book" -- Michael Holroyd Spectator
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st February 2013
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.5 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.267