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About the book
  • Published: 3 March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780099549031
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $19.99

The Examined Life

How We Lose and Find Ourselves




Longlisted for the Guardian first book award, a Sunday Times bestseller and Radio 4 Book of the Week. 'Marvellous' (The Times), 'Excellent' (Guardian), 'Completely magical' (Mail on Sunday)

**SUNDAY TIMES BESTELLER**
This book is about learning to live.
Echoing Socrates’ statement that the unexamined life not worth living, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz draws on his twenty-five years of work and more than 50,000 hours of conversations to form a collection of beautifully rendered tales that illuminate the human experience.

These are stories about everyday lives: from a woman who finds herself daydreaming as she returns home from a business trip to a young man loses his wallet, to the more extreme examples: the patient who points an unloaded gun at a police officer and the compulsive liar who convinces his wife he's dying of cancer. The resulting journey will spark new ideas about who we are and why we do what we do.
‘This moving book will make the reader think of Freud’s keenly observed and literary-minded case studies…piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks’ New York Times
‘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’ Evening Standard.

  • Pub date: 3 March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780099549031
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Stephen Grosz

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 at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and in the Psychoanalytic Unit at University College London. His stories have appeared in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine and Granta. He lives in London.

Also by Stephen Grosz

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Praise for The Examined Life

“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

“One of the many attributes of a good psychoanalyst is restraint, and Stephen Grosz's first book puts it to graceful, literary use”

Talitha Stevenson, Observer

“Grosz strikes the right balance of professional detachment and compassion, coupled with humility and self-awareness... The most helpful book I have read in recent months”

Juanita Coulson, Lady

“A captivating journey... These are universal themes, insights into an emotional world we inhabit, often with equal difficulty. A wonderful book”

Sunday Times

“A gripping series of tales”

Psychologies

“The Examined Life is a series of case studies from psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz's 25-year career. They fizz and shimmer with the tension of the finest short story. But they also have a profound vision of the world, which, however distorted it is, makes me examine my own”

David Giles, UK Press Syndication

“So significant that it should be read by absolutely everyone... A masterpiece of observation and empathy”

Georgia Mizen, Upcoming

“The Examined Life is a fascinating and original read. It is inspirational and shows how we can learn more about ourselves by exploring our subconscious thoughts and beliefs”

Sunday Mail

“[Illuminates] the dark recesses of human behaviour with clarity and humanity”

Good Book Guide

“Thoughtful and surprisingly addictive”

Susie Steiner, Metro

“Fascinating… Sincere”

Emma Norris, Psychologist

“Far and away the best non-fiction book this year”

Hannah Beckerman, Huffington Post UK (Blog)

“Wonderfully rich and insightful”

Julian Ovenden, Daily Express

“A brilliant read”

Nadine Oâ??Regan, Sunday Business Post

“Essays true to psychoanalytic principles, but free from jargon; they have the quality of the best short stories.”

Lorna Bradbury, Daily Telegraph

“Grosz is able to expand out creating universal themes and experiences that makes every chapter personally relevant to the reader. It is a fascinating process that challenges you to reflect honestly about your own experiences… Indeed this is both the perfect book for someone with no psychology background or someone who works in the area… I found this book extremely interesting… I would highly recommend to anyone wanting an interesting and fascinating social science read and it is a book you’ll remember long after reading.”

Topic UK


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