The Examined Life: How We Lose And Find Ourselves by Stephen GroszThe Examined Life: How We Lose And Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz

The Examined Life: How We Lose And Find Ourselves

byStephen Grosz

Hardcover | May 28, 2013

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The everyday world bedevils us. To make sense of it, we tell ourselves stories. Here, in short, vivid, dramatic tales, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz draws from his twenty-year practice to track the collaborative journey of therapist and patient as they uncover the hidden feelings behind ordinary behavior. A woman finds herself daydreaming as she returns home from a business trip; a young man loses his wallet. We learn, too, from more extreme examples: the patient who points an unloaded gun at a police officer, the compulsive liar who convinces his wife he's dying of cancer. These beautifully rendered tales illuminate the fundamental pathways of life from birth to death. They invite compassionate understanding, suggesting answers to the questions that compel and disturb us most about love and loss, parents and children, work and change. The resulting journey will spark new ideas about who we are and why we do what we do.

STEPHEN GROSZ was born in Indiana and educated at Berkeley and Oxford. For the past twenty-five years he has worked as a psychoanalyst. He teaches clinical technique at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory at University College London. His stories have appeared in the Financial Times and Granta. He lives in London.
Title:The Examined Life: How We Lose And Find OurselvesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.52 × 5.72 × 0.94 inPublished:May 28, 2013Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307359107

ISBN - 13:9780307359100

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good as audio book I listened to the audio book and it was excellent as an audio book as the stories are short and move quickly. I found myself wanting more stories as most of them were thought provoking and interesting. There were a few at the end that I wasn't that interested in but since they moved so quickly it was fine. This is a book that I would be willing to listen to again in the future.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth living, worth reading A fabulous read most of all, and this book offers great insight into psychology -- how we try to make sense of our lives, our damage, our history. This book is more narrative and story driven than "self help" but you will be helped. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2015-04-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Glad I read it, but not sure why The stories are brief, and, I feel, often skim the surface. They are outlines only, and so perhaps I am to supply the missing details with parts of my own story. I don't feel I learned anything, but I can see myself picking this up again in the future for some reason that I can't quite place or articulate.
Date published: 2014-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An outstanding book I read a few pages each night before bed and found it immensely satisfying and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2013-10-26

Editorial Reviews

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERLONGLISTED 2013 – Guardian First Book Award “An insightful and beautifully written book about the process of psychoanalysis, and the ways people’s efforts to connect the past, present and future reflect their capacity to change.... A series of slim, piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks. They invite us to identify with Mr. Grosz’s patients and their losses and regrets, even as we are made to marvel at the complexities and convolutions of the human mind.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Book Review “Although the author teaches psychoanalytic theory at University College London…the writing is anything but clinical. There is a lucidity and a gently amused empathy to the stories that feels Chekhovian in their ability to recognize the small, transformative moments in our relationships. And this therapist isn’t a blank slate; his doubts and daydreams in the consulting room enter into the stories, which helps level the playing field between therapist and patient, and triangulates the mystery.” —Marni Jackson, Maclean’s  “Writing with an elegance and poignancy that would make Raymond Carver envious, the long-time psychoanalyst seems to argue that our greatest difficulties should be looked at as stories rather than problems…. Whatever comes out, the richness of any person’s honest story of adversity makes mere happiness pale in comparison…. The Examined Life tells of the melancholy nature of being human in a way that is surprisingly uplifting.” —Micah Toub, The Globe and Mail “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, The Spectator“Brilliant... After reading [Grosz’s] absorbing accounts of his patients’ journeys you might feel that The Examined Life ought to be given out free at birth.” –Melissa Katsoulis, The Times“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.” –Robert Collins, Sunday Times“[Grosz's accounts] are shaped like short stories, but true and moving in ways that fiction cannot be. […] Gradually accumulating through his book, Grosz provides, not a definition, but an enactment of the purpose of psychoanalysis, which is both modest and profound.” –Alexander Linklater, The Observer“Excellent… this book arrives like a box of chocolates. Thirty-one elegantly presented chapters which, when you bite into them, each reveals something sweet, rich or crunchy. Every one of these case histories bears repeating. All offer worthwhile insights.” –Susanna Rustin, The Guardian“Stephen Grosz has condensed thousands of hours of consultations into this gem... [he] writes lucidly and with sensitivity, treating his patients with respect…sprinkled with wise reflections. This is highly recommended.” –Leyla Sanai, The Independent“This book conveys the nuanced complexities of psychoanalysis in deceptively simple human stories. It is written with generosity toward both its subjects and its readers; with authentic wit; and with flashes of profound insight. The novelistic charm of its case histories makes it impossible to put down, but while you may read it for entertainment, it will leave you wiser about humanity than you were when you picked it up.” –Andrew Solomon, Author of “Far From the Tree”“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 clichés -- just wisdom.” –Victoria Hislop, Author of “The Thread”