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Very different but no less accomplished than a first novel some years ago- The Closed Kin There Is, this is a chilling character study of a man whose sovereign self-assurance, vanity and tyranny remain unassailable until the end, even though his sphere of influence has minimal returns, a solicitous, submissive wife- and one patient. Dr. Frederick Firstmann, a Viennese psychiatrist whose life-guidance is based on certain original concepts (the transcendence of the will; the ""life-validifying function of culture"") has found America not only a cultural vacuum but unappreciative; his great look remains unpublished; he has no practice; and he is isolated in a small uptown apartment with Luise, having curtailed her ""unhealthy"" relationship to her son to a once a visit. Morton Kersh, trapped in a marriage of no joys and many antagonisms, into his consultation room where Dr. Firstmann is able to diagnose his ""poverty of wardness"" and direct him toward a fuller life- music, art, poetry. Before long , although his cultural rehabilitation is slight, has gotten rid of his family, and is on his way to a second, equally undesirable, relationship when the ""hours to- are abruptly ended; Firstmann is a hopeless cancer case and Luise takes his life with hers... While, from a popular point of view, Mrs. Winston's book may be as intractable in her subject, it is unerring and -- certainly in its side effects, Luise and Kersh, moving.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1961
Publisher: Lippincott