The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves

As heard on Book of the Week, Radio 4. 'This book is about change.' We are all storytellers - we make stories to make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen. In his work as a practising psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last twenty-five years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour. The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon. This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening and understanding. Its aphoristic and elegant stories teach us a new kind of attentiveness. They also unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work, and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to him as to the patient. These are stories about our everyday lives: they are about the people we love and the lies that we tell; the changes we bear, and the grief. Ultimately, they show us not only how we lose ourselves but how we might find ourselves too. Praise for The Examined Life: will leave you wiser about humanity than you were when you picked it up. (Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree). A fascinating collection of quiet stories about very real human predicaments: the listening cure at its best. (Patrick McGrath, author of Asylum). I couldn't put this down - I read about other people, but learned about myself...No preaching, no cliches - just wisdom. (Victoria Hislop, author of The Thread). There is a rare integrity in the writing: no showing off, just honest attention to each trusted relationship. (Ruth Padel, author of 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem). This gripping book offers psychological solutions to some extremely complex human puzzles and is full of wisdom and insight. (Sophie Hannah, author of Little Face).