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The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves

The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves

Hardback Chatto & Windus

By (author) Stephen Grosz

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  • Publisher: CHATTO & WINDUS
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 218mm x 26mm | 360g
  • Publication date: 3 January 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 070118535X
  • ISBN 13: 9780701185350
  • Sales rank: 8,840

Product description

**As heard on Book of the Week, Radio 4**. 'This book is about change.' 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. Praise for The Examined Life: '...it will leave you wiser about humanity than you were when you picked it up.' - Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree. 'A fascinating collection of quiet stories about very real human predicaments: the listening cure at its best.' - Patrick McGrath, author of Asylum. 'I couldn't put this down - I read about other people, but learned about myself...No preaching, no cliches--just wisdom.' - Victoria Hislop, author of The Thread'. 'There is a rare integrity in the writing: no showing off, just honest attention to each trusted relationship.' - Ruth Padel, author of 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem. 'This gripping book offers psychological solutions to some extremely complex human puzzles and is full of wisdom and insight.'- Sophie Hannah, author of Little Face.

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Author information

Stephen Grosz was born in Indiana and educated at Berkeley and Oxford. For the past twenty-five years he has worked as a psychoanalyst, teaching clinical technique at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory at University College London. His stories have appeared in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine. This is his first book.

Review quote

"I was enthralled. profound and moving, packed large ideas into a slim volume" -- Lucy Lethbridge Observer Books of the Year "With deceptive simplicity and gentle wisdom, Grosz teases out a lesson or chases down a fugitive insight. I have distrusted psychoanalysis for years, but I would leap onto Grosz's couch" -- James McConnachie The Sunday Times Books of the Year "This moving book of patient portraits by the psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz will make the reader think of Freud's keenly observed and literary-minded case studies. Writing with sympathy and insight, Mr Grosz distils 25 years of work into a series of slim, piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks" -- Michiko Kakutani New York Times "The success of The Examined Life by the psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz has, I think, relatively little to do with his clinical know-how; it rests, as Freud's did, on his story-telling abilities" -- Rachel Cooke Observer "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" -- William Leith Evening Standard "A wonderful example of a book that provides a safe space that can be used as a base to explore the less safe" -- Alex Clark Guardian "Riveting... Grosz is adept at uncovering the little lies we tell ourselves and he's very perceptive about the potentially positive effects of bad experiences" Daily Telegraph "Because of [Grosz's] skill at getting to the heart of the matter, we forget the distance separating us and become quickly involved in the lives of those he discusses" Mail on Sunday "Absolutely fascinating. You'll be amateur psychoanalysing yourself and everyone you know" Independent on Sunday "It made me stop and think, and it has stayed with me. 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" -- William Leith Scotsman

Back cover copy

‘This book is about our desire to talk, to understand and be understood.It’s also about listening to each other, not just the words but the gaps in between. What I’m describing here isn’t a magical process. It’s something that is a part of our everyday lives -- we tap, we listen.’