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Divorcing Mom

A Memoir of Psychoanalysis

By Melissa Knox with a Foreword by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Divorcing Mom

Melissa Knox, PhD, a New York City native, teaches American literature and culture at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. She endured more than twenty years of psychoanalysis, wrote a psychoanalytic biography of Oscar Wilde titled Oscar Wilde: A Long and Lovely Suicide (Yale University Press, 1996), and has authored numerous personal essays about disturbed family life, often in relation to psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis was her family's religion—instead of wafers and wine, there were Seconals, Nembutals, and gin. Baptized into the faith at fourteen, Melissa Knox endured her analyst’s praise of her childlike, victimized mother—who leaned too close, ate off Melissa’s plate, and thought “pedophile” meant “silly person.”


Gaslighted with the notions that she’d seduced her father, failed to masturbate, and betrayed her mother, Melissa shouldered the blame. Her story of a family pulled into and torn apart by psychoanalysis exposes the abuse inherent in its authoritarianism as Melissa learns, with a startling sense of humor and admirable chagrin, that divorcing Mom is sometimes the least crazy thing to do.

'I inhaled "Divorcing Mom" in just one day - partially because I had to know the author was going to be okay, but mostly because her story is compelling - addictive, even - and her writing is beautiful. There's plenty of dry/gallows humour of the kind that only someone who's been through some truly dark experiences can pull off. I won't give away too much of the story, but suffice to say that Melissa Knox has written a cutting indictment of psychoanalysis, and I hope nobody else ever has to suffer through the kind of "analysis" to which she was subject. This book will be particularly insightful for people who have their own qualms about psychotherapy; anyone interested in the lived effects of Freudianism; anyone with a narcissistic parent; anyone who's ever been an insecure, love-seeking teenage girl; and anyone who simply wants an excellent, page-turning, intelligent, unexpectedly humorous read.
Knox is a brave, beautiful, perceptive and sharply intelligent writer. I can't wait to see what she does next!'
- 5 star Amazon review

Additional Information :

Published 2019 (Cynren Press) - ISBN: 9781947976054 - 9 photo's

228 Pages - Hardback - World Rights

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