The Examined Life

How We Lose and Find Ourselves

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Echoing Socrates' time-honoured statement that the unexamined life is not worth living, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz draws short, vivid stories from his 25-year practice in order to track the collaborative journey of therapist and patient as they uncover the hidden feelings behind ordinary behaviour.
     These beautifully rendered tales illuminate the fundamental pathways of life from birth to death. 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. The stories 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.

PRAISE FOR

"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 The Examined Life utterly captivating." --The Sunday Times

"By turns edifying and moving.... Grosz offers astute insights into the perplexities of everyday life." --Financial Times

"Stephen Grosz has condensed thousands of hours of consultations into this gem.... Grosz writes lucidly and with sensitivity, treating his patients with respect. The cases are sprinkled with wise reflections.... Highly recommended." --The Independent