Dr. Mario Fischetti is a clinical psychologist with the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, and the moderator of its ongoing "Reading Fiction with Freud" discussion series.
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.-Vintage Eleanor Henderson, Ten Thousand SaintsAdopted by a pair of diehard hippies, restless, marginal Jude Keffy-Horn spends much of his youth getting high with his best friend, Teddy, in their bucolic and deeply numbing Vermont town. But when Teddy dies of an overdose on the last day of 1987, Jude's relationship with drugs and with his parents devolves to new extremes. Sent to live with his pot-dealing father in New York City's East Village, Jude stumbles upon straight edge, an underground youth culture powered by the paradoxical aggression of hardcore punk and a righteous intolerance for drugs, meat, and sex. With Teddy's half brother, Johnny, and their new friend, Eliza, Jude tries to honor Teddy's memory through his militantly clean lifestyle. But his addiction to straight edge has its own dangerous consequences. While these teenagers battle to discover themselves, their parents struggle with this new generation's radical reinterpretation of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll and their grown-up awareness of nature and nurture, brotherhood and loss.-Harper Collins Wendell Berry, Imagination in Place: EssaysIn "Imagination in Place," we travel to the local cultures of several writers important to Berry’s life and work, from Wallace Stegner’s great West and Ernest Gaines’s Louisiana plantation life to Donald Hall’s New England, and on to the Western frontier as seen through the Far East lens of Gary Snyder. The collection also includes portraits of a few of America’s most imaginative writers, including James Still, Hayden Carruth, Jane Kenyon, John Haines, and several others. Berry laments today’s dispossessed and displaced, those writers and people with no home and no citizenship, but he argues that there is hope for the establishment of new local cultures in both the practical and literary sense. For Berry, what is “local, fully imagined, becomes universal,” and these essays serve as a reminder that a place indelibly marks its literature just as it determines its watershed community of plants and animals.-Counterpoint Press