An exploration of the ways in which relationships are held together or fall apart, by the renowned psychiatrist and author of the bestselling "Listening to Prozac."
A writer who presents his vast knowledge of psychiatry with the art of a novelist, Peter D. Kramer imagines scenarios in which he addresses a series of advice seekers. Each "session" not only reveals the various styles of giving advice - from Freudian psychoanalytic techniques to Ann Landers's application of conventional values - but probes the complexities of human relationships: How do we choose our partners? How well do we know them? How do mood states affect our assessment of them and theirs of us? When should we work to improve a relationship, and when should we walk away? What does "working on a relationship" entail? Kramer's questions lead to a reconsideration of our culture's norms - and to a suggestion that we may have begun to over-value autonomy and assertiveness at the cost of intimacy and connectedness.
This literary tour de force brings intelligence to the exploration of the ways in which relationships are held together--or fall apart.
"Beautifully illustrating the passion, curiosity, intellect, and sensitivity therapists bring to their work, Kramer has produced a tour de force, a book of non-advice more illuminating than any how-to could ever be." Gomes
"...[A] smart bomb composed of equal parts primer on the history of couple therapy, musing on the hazards of romantic relationships, and meditation into the very nature of advice." Golub
"'[This book] proves it's possible to write a thinking person's self-help book...." Ondaatje
"Wonderfully...and vividly recounted....Dr. Kramer is able to synthesize complex research and pay generous tribute to his intellectual benefactors." Duprau
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