WHOEVER SAID LIFE IS FAIR? by Sara Kay Cohen

WHOEVER SAID LIFE IS FAIR?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

. . . Certainly not the author, who seems to have gone through life collecting specimens of unfair behavior, both done and done to--from the men who tried to ""score"" with Cohen-the-new-divorcee to the wise old black woman who cared for her as an infant in racially segregated Baltimore. But she's observed well over the years, and one can only welcome her emphasis--uncommon these days--on the worth of dignity, love, and compassion in helping to shoulder life's injustices. Cohen is also a good enough therapist to recognize that many of her patients suffer from the illusion that life should be fair, which makes them feel like failures when they find that it isn't so. The most affecting people sketched in these undated journal entries are far from failures, though they haven't always been treated fairly: the old crippled islander in the Caribbean, carefully tending to injured birds while tourists poke fun; the psychologist friend who persistently reported a colleague's maltreatment of a psychotic patient--he lost his job, but retained his self-respect. And each entry has a little lesson--in the manner of meditative literature--in which dignity or love is embodied in laughter, say or control over one's environment. Coloring all is Cohen's bitter divorce--her own personal injustice--but she knows just how much to disclose and how much to endure privately, so we're never plunged into bathos. For calmer, more contemplative moments.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1980
Publisher: Scribners