THE TABOO SCARF by George Weinberg


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Psychotherapist Weinberg's tenth book (Self Creation, The Pliant Animal, etc.) finds him at his most invigoratingly direct, modest, and welcoming. Weinberg is a hard writer not to like. A student of Shakespeare as well as of modern analysis, his grip on character and keenness in spelling out the stages of an analysis bind the reader to the page while avoiding jargon, literary brilliance, or highhandedness of any sort. Warmth is all with Weinberg. His new tack here finds him adopting the ways of the storyteller, with nine tales that seem both fiction and nonfiction, reveal themselves fully, and are rounded out with no question left dangling, While the patients' problems work up an unwavering spell, it is nonetheless Weinberg himself and his reactions that most forcefully seduce the reader. He ever finds himself taking on his patients' symptoms and having to fight his way out. Among his tales: the highlevel call girl's well-educated daughter who has a freakish gift for spot analysis of character but prefers to live in a shabby apartment with four cats and work as an usher in a movie house devoted to film classics; a psychotic who thinks he's a lion; the aging owner of a trucking company who is invaded periodically by catatonia; a woman paleontologist who is amnesiac about the first ten years of her life and terrified of letting her fiancÉ kiss her; a Columbia professor, a Dr. Johnson specialist, who has been taken over by Johnson's tic (a ""horrible grimace and loss of mastery over his eyes and lips""), and who has married a ballerina half his age (a woman who's now come down with a phantom case of AIDS). Wise, frank, and marvelously readable.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's