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THE DEPTH OF HER TOUCH

A BIOGRAPHY OF SVETLANA MASGUTOVA, PHD, CREATOR OF THE MNRI REFLEX INTEGRATION PROGRAM

A captivating blend of portraiture and scientific explanation.

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A biography focuses on a woman who pioneered scientific advances that helped those physically debilitated by various forms of trauma.

Svetlana Masgutova hails from an ancestry of healers—her great-grandfather was famous for his restorative powers in his remote village in Russia, with his unique techniques taught to her by her great-grandmother. By the time she was about 14 years old, Masgutova knew she wanted to be a “body-oriented psychologist.” This was partly inspired by the traumas she endured as an adolescent, experiences that made her peculiarly sensitive to human suffering, with a deep reservoir of sympathy movingly depicted by Carr. Eventually, Masgutova made extraordinary scientific breakthroughs in the understanding of the brain-body system and the role of reflexes in neurodevelopment. These advances were captured in her therapeutic system, Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration, “a primary reflex integration program intended to support motor, communication, and cognitive development; emotional and behavioral regulation; stress resilience; and immune system support.” At the heart of her MNRI system is a new interpretation of the importance of primary reflexes, the “building blocks for human development,” which can by stunted by trauma but also reintegrated through touch therapy. The author lucidly depicts the intriguing arc of Masgutova’s career—eventually, she would treat 380,000 children and adults in 40 countries. In addition, Carr affectingly relates Masgutova’s personal travails and the brave manner in which she confronted them, including the murder of her sister, Helen, and the death of her only son, Denis. The author came to know Masgutova first clinically—she treated Carr’s son, Daniel, who was born with a debilitating genetic disorder, and witnessed firsthand the power of MNRI. As a result, the author is uniquely positioned to give an account of Masgutova’s character as well as an accessible explication of her theories and methods. This is a scientifically edifying book as well as an inspiring one and poignantly presents Masgutova’s philosophy of life, distilled here in her own words: “Our children and the people around us are our biggest life teachers. We want to apply techniques that support the positive developmental mechanisms that are the source of their power to create change. We want to alleviate suffering.”

A captivating blend of portraiture and scientific explanation.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781619660120

Page Count: 218

Publisher: Svetlana Masgutova Educational Institute

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2023

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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TANQUERAY

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

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LOVE, PAMELA

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

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The iconic model tells the story of her eventful life.

According to the acknowledgments, this memoir started as "a fifty-page poem and then grew into hundreds of pages of…more poetry." Readers will be glad that Anderson eventually turned to writing prose, since the well-told anecdotes and memorable character sketches are what make it a page-turner. The poetry (more accurately described as italicized notes-to-self with line breaks) remains strewn liberally through the pages, often summarizing the takeaway or the emotional impact of the events described: "I was / and still am / an exceptionally / easy target. / And, / I'm proud of that." This way of expressing herself is part of who she is, formed partly by her passion for Anaïs Nin and other writers; she is a serious maven of literature and the arts. The narrative gets off to a good start with Anderson’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in coastal Vancouver, raised by very young, very wild, and not very competent parents. Here and throughout the book, the author displays a remarkable lack of anger. She has faced abuse and mistreatment of many kinds over the decades, but she touches on the most appalling passages lightly—though not so lightly you don't feel the torment of the media attention on the events leading up to her divorce from Tommy Lee. Her trip to the pages of Playboy, which involved an escape from a violent fiance and sneaking across the border, is one of many jaw-dropping stories. In one interesting passage, Julian Assange's mother counsels Anderson to desexualize her image in order to be taken more seriously as an activist. She decided that “it was too late to turn back now”—that sexy is an inalienable part of who she is. Throughout her account of this kooky, messed-up, enviable, and often thrilling life, her humility (her sons "are true miracles, considering the gene pool") never fails her.

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9780063226562

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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