The first novel of the notable American psychoanalyst and Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School, Irvin Yalom, who enlists one of the leading philosophers of the last century, Friedrich Nietzsche and one of the fathers of psychoanalysis, Josef Breuer in a story of bidirectional psychotherapy which takes place in Vienna of the 19th century. Apart from the leading players, a series of characters affect significantly the development of the plot, such as the unknown at that time Sigmund Freud, the female dancer Lou Salome and patient Anna O. Yalom''s novel entangles Freud''s pshychotherapy theories with Nietzshe''s philosophical thought, in order to investigate their influence on modern psychotherapy.
Yalom goes on beyond the coarse apposition of historical facts and with the assistance of fiction-making he manages to highlight the effectiveness of this practice, through the human relationship developed between the therapist and the patient.
Yalom''s novel appealed initially to a very special reading audience, to the nascent psychoanalysts, yet he managed to win a wider share of the readers. The book has been translated into sixteen languages and has become a best-seller in many countries, winning at the same time the Commonwealth Writers'' Prize in 1993.
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