ANNA FREUD by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

ANNA FREUD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anna Freud was not only her father's collaborator, nurse, analysand, and biggest cheerleader, she was also a famous psychoanalyst herself. This overview of her life and career sets out to accomplish two goals: to illumine the complex relationship between Anna and her celebrated father, and to examine Anna's important contributions to child and adult psychoanalysis. After Anna died in 1982, the executors of her literary estate invited Young-Bruehl, whose previous books include Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, to write an authorized biography, and gave her access to ""four steamer trunks full of correspondences, manuscripts, packets of poetry and dream interpretations, photographs, memorabilia and newspaper clippings."" Happily, the author has made excellent use of this treasure trove. Meticulously researched and gracefully written, her biography offers new insights into the part Anna played in the development of child analysis; but it is the story of Anna's relationship with Freud that will be of the most interest to the general reader, and Young-Bruehl writes compellingly about it here. Anna's life revolved around her father; she lived in his shadow. Despite her own substantial professional achievements, she remained a ""Daddy's gift"" to the end, a dutiful daughter whose unflinching loyalty prevented her from making a truly independent life for herself. Unmarried by choice, her only other significant personal relationship was with a wealthy married woman, Dorothy Burlingham. Although the two women lived together, Young-Bruehl reports that the friendship was purely platonic. In brief: a splendidly researched and lucidly written portrait with appeal for general readers as well as the psychoanalytically-minded.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Summit/Simon & Schuster