The idea of the “life story” is central to The Good Story: Exchanges on Truth, Fiction and Psychotherapy, a conversation between the South African writer J. M. Coetzee and Arabella Kurtz, a clinical psychologist training in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.
Could anyone have predicted in June that Donald Trump would lead the race for Republican presidential nomineein October?
The history of Cuba is a history of exile, from the eradication of the indigenous neo-Taíno and Guanahatabey population in the 1500s to the forced departure of nonconformists by the Castro government in the second half of the 20th century. “To be Cuban,” José Lezama Lima once said, “is to already feel foreign.”
I met Pablo Medina during my first semester as an MFA candidate at Emerson College back in 2012. I’d scheduled a meeting with him despite not being in any of his classesI was looking for some guidance.
In the opening pages of Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf’s quietly breathtaking final novel, published earlier this year, Addie Moore, an old widow, visits her neighbor Louis Waters, also widowed, and asks him if he will consider sharing her bed with her at night.
Psychiatrist Dr. David Manne is tipsy and tired when he is asked by a police detective to evaluate Esterhazy, a violent suspect. Reports suggest Esterhazy is in a psychotic state, threatening his wife with a broken bottle and claiming to be a bachelor named Smith.
Literature often foists the mentally ill onto the page as spectacle, made interesting by way of radical difference. But West’s way of looking at the world felt familiar. It is not hard to identify with a man who believes that everything he observes he observes for a reason, that everything is a symbol of something larger.
And the walls they did indeed come a-tumbling down crashing earthwards from the start of this narration of a to-be-mother, very much not-wanting-to have this child with whom she lives at the beginning, in a tower with some bats and ravens, in a “gruesome inner union.”