Empathy / Sarah Schulman.

Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Schulman, Sarah, 1958-
Format: Book
Published: New York : Plume, c1992.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Lesbian writer Schulman follows her well-received After Delores and People in Trouble with this insightful allegory, which explores the feminine and masculine qualities said to coexist within every personality. The novel is prefaced by a troubling quote from Freud, which alleges that lesbianism results from a woman's frustrated Elektra complex and desire to punish her father. This theory is challenged by protagonist Anna O (meant to suggest a famous Freud patient), a lesbian secure in her attraction to women yet struggling with male sexism, her family's homophobia and her feelings that she is unlovable. Anna consults ``street-corner psychiatrist'' Doc, who roams New York's Lower East Side and charges patients $10 an hour for his listening skills. Representing the female and male halves of a complete person, Anna and Doc discover that together they can confront conventional mores, their own guilt and a woman, symbolically clad in white leather, who broke their hearts. In a resolution that better serves the book's allegorical aims than its dramatic development, Anna and Doc are composites that masquerade as characters. In a plain-spoken, often funny narrative, Schulman makes provocative statements about gender roles, sexual orientation, AIDS, homelessness, drugs and the therapeutic value of an attentive ear. Author tour. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved