Stories We Tell Ourselves by Michelle Herman
"Dream Life" and "Seeing Things" (Sightline Books)

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The two thought-provoking, extended essays that make up Stories We Tell Ourselves draw from the author’s richly diverse experiences and history, taking the reader on a deeply pleasurable walk to several unexpectedly profound destinations. A steady accumulation of fascinating science, psychoanalytic theory, and cultural history—ranging as far and wide as neuro-ophthalmology, ancient dream interpretation, and the essential differences between Jung and Freud—is smoothly intermixed with vivid anecdotes, entertaining digressions, and a disarming willingness to risk everything in the course of a revealing personal narrative.

“Dream Life” plumbs the depth of dreams—conceptually, biologically, and as the nursery of our most meaningful metaphors—as it considers dreams and dreaming every whichway: from the haruspicy of the Roman Empire to contemporary sleep and dream science, from the way birds dream to the way babies do, from our longing to tell them to the reasons we wish other people wouldn’t.
“Seeing Things” recounts a journey of mother and daughter—a Holmes-and-Watson pair intrepidly working their way through the mysteries of a disorder known as Alice in Wonderland Syndrome—even as it restlessly detours into the world beyond the looking glass of the unconscious itself. In essays that constantly offer layers of surprises and ever-deeper insights, the author turns a powerful lens on the relationships that make up a family, on expertise and unsatisfying diagnoses, on science and art and the pleasures of contemplation and inquiry—and on our fears, regrets, hopes, and (of course) dreams. 

About Michelle Herman

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Michelle Herman is the author of the novels Dog and Missing, the novella collection A New and Glorious Life, and The Middle of Everything: Memoirs of Motherhood, which was a finalist in the autobiography/memoir category for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in 2006. Other awards and honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the Michener-Copernicus Society, as well as major teaching awards from Ohio State University, where she has taught fiction and creative nonfiction writing for many years and directs the MFA program in creative writing. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she also directs a summer program for teenage writers and a graduate interdisciplinary program in the arts. 
Published March 15, 2013 by University Of Iowa Press. 164 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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This slim volume includes two extended essays, incisive and conversational, that have plenty of connections between them.

Jan 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Stories We Tell Ourselves: "D...

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