Female Adolescence (Paperback)

Psychoanalytic Reflections on Literature

By Katherine Dalsimer

Yale University Press, 9780300040319, 149pp.

Publication Date: September 10, 1987

List Price: 20.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A sensitive, gracefully written exploration of the distinctiveness of the female adolescent experience. The author combines insights drawn from her clinical practice with informed analyses of familiar works of literature. Her premise is that literature does not merely exemplify but deepens our understanding of psychological processes.

"A brilliant and evocative analysis of the transition from girlhood to womanhood, with its longings, its pain, and the pride of growing up. The depiction is rich with the particularities of the experiences of adolescent girls, and provides a welcome contrast to the usual rendering of this period as a variation on male development."—Lila Braine, Chair, Department of Psychology, Barnard College
 
"Masterful analyses of five literary works. . . . Dalsimer’s interpretations are remarkable for the intelligent and informed acuity of her psychoanalytic observations as well as for their preservation of the texture of lived experience. A uniquely felicitous conjunction of psychoanalysis and literature."—Choice

"Dalsimer’s commentaries prove consistently empathetic, discerning, and convincing. . . . This beautifully writen book renders important service both to psychoanalysis and to literary studies."—Paul Schwaber, Professor of Letters, Wesleyan University
 
"This book will be treasured by anyone who has taught or treated an adolescent girl, or read a book about one, or, like Freud and the rest of us, simply wondered at the miracle of transformation of a girl into a woman."—Robert Michels, M.D., Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College


Praise For Female Adolescence: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Literature

"A sensitive, gracefully written exploration of the distinctiveness of the female adolescent experience. The author combines insights drawn from her clinical practice with informed analyses of familiar works of literature, ranging from Romeo and Juliet to The Diary of Anne Frank. Her work illuminates and advances our understanding of female adolescent development."--Albert J. Solnit




























"Female Adolescence has virtues that in combination are very hard to come by. For one thing, Dr. Dalsimer’s feeling for literature is as impressive as her understanding of psychology. Yet she equally avoids the specialized vocabularies and professional blind spots of both critics and psychoanalysts. Her readings are fresh, but wellinformed. Her topic is original, but ripe for treatment. Female adolescence has been a neglected subject. We now have an important book addressed as much to the general reader as to critics, analysts, and workers in the field of women’s studies."--George Stade

"Freud said that his own views on femininity were ’incomplete and fragmentary,’ and advised us to ’turn to the poets,’ if we wanted to learn more. Katherine Dalsimer has done just that, exploring female adolescence in psychoanalytic theory and in literature--from Shakespeare and Jane Austen to Carson McCullers, Muriel Spark, and Anne Frank. She finds that the insights of psychoanalysis enhance our appreciation of the poets, and the intuitions of great literature contribute to our scientific understanding of developmental psychology. Dr. Dalsimer adds her own considerable clinical experience as she effortlessly guides us back and forth between these approaches and enriches our knowledge of such themes as reactions to parental death, crushes and first loves, and the crystallization of a personal identity. This book will be treasured by anyone who has taught or treated an adolescent girl, or read a book about one, or, like Freud and the rest of us, simply wondered at the miracle of transformation of a girl into a woman."--Robert Michels, M.D.



"A brilliant and evocative analysis of the transition from girlhood to womanhood, with its longings, its pain, and the pride of growing up. The depiction is rich with the particularities of the experiences of adolescent girls, and provides a welcome contrast to the usual rendering of this period as a variation on male development. The work will be illuminating to both the specialist and the general reader, and for all of us, it provides the pleasure of a greater understanding of our fictional friends."--Lila Braine

"This beautifully written book exemplifies and critically tests psychoanalytic formulations of female development in adolescence by attending closely to enduring works of literature. Dr. Dalsimer’s commentaries prove consistently empathetic, discerning, and convincing; her readings of Anne Frank’s DIARY is superbly illuminating. FEMALE ADOLESCENCE renders important service both to psychoanalysis and to literary studies."--Paul Schwaber, Professor of Letters, Wesleyan University