Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life

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9780143113072: Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life

In addition to being the son of famous New Yorker editor William Shawn and brother of the distinguished playwright and actor Wallace Shawn, Allen Shawn is agoraphobic-he is afraid of both public spaces and isolation. Wish I Could Be There gracefully captures both of these extraordinary realities, blending memoir and scientific inquiry in an utterly engrossing quest to understand the mysteries of the human mind. Droll, probing, and honest, Shawn explores the many ways we all become who we are, whether through upbringing, genes, or our own choices, creating "an eloquent meditation upon the mysteries of personality and family"* and the struggle to face one's demons.

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About the Author:

Allen Shawn, a composer and writer, has produced many orchestral, chamber, vocal, and piano works, as well as music for ballet, theater, and film. He has written for The Atlantic and is on the faculty at Bennington College in Vermont.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. The author's rampant agoraphobia and compensatory claustrophobia leave him terrified of almost any unfamiliar space, including highways, fields, elevators, bridges, tunnels, heights and airplanes; a walk down a country lane leaves him panting and paralyzed with fear. In this absorbing memoir, Shawn—a composer, son of legendary New Yorker editor William Shawn and brother of actor Wallace Shawn—approaches his panics from several angles. He explores the neurophysiology of phobic fear as an exaggerated, partly hereditary version of the innate human response to environmental threats. But he also offers a heavily Freudian account of his own panics, linking them to his parents' overprotectiveness and the resulting psychosexual and oedipal conflicts he suppressed from childhood onward. The latter perspective informs his vivid portraits of his family life; his brilliant, conflicted father, who suffered from similar phobias; and his autistic twin sister. Drawing on the writings of fellow agoraphobes like Emily Dickinson and Blaise Pascal, Shawn makes his fear of vast, exposed spaces a metaphor for humanity's existential predicament, an inchoate realization that "our brief life span is surrounded on all sides by nothingness." The result is both a lucid explication of psychopathology and a deeply felt evocation of a "pain in the soul." (Feb. 7)
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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In addition to being the son of famous New Yorker editor William Shawn and brother of the distinguished playwright and actor Wallace Shawn, Allen Shawn is agoraphobic-he is afraid of both public spaces and isolation. Wish I Could Be There gracefully captures both of these extraordinary realities, blending memoir and scientific inquiry in an utterly engrossing quest to understand the mysteries of the human mind. Droll, probing, and honest, Shawn explores the many ways we all become who we are, whether through upbringing, genes, or our own choices, creating an eloquent meditation upon the mysteries of personality and family * and the struggle to face one s demons. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143113072

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In addition to being the son of famous New Yorker editor William Shawn and brother of the distinguished playwright and actor Wallace Shawn, Allen Shawn is agoraphobic-he is afraid of both public spaces and isolation. Wish I Could Be There gracefully captures both of these extraordinary realities, blending memoir and scientific inquiry in an utterly engrossing quest to understand the mysteries of the human mind. Droll, probing, and honest, Shawn explores the many ways we all become who we are, whether through upbringing, genes, or our own choices, creating an eloquent meditation upon the mysteries of personality and family * and the struggle to face one s demons. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143113072

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Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback / softback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life, Allen Shawn, In addition to being the son of famous "New Yorker" editor William Shawn and brother of the distinguished playwright and actor Wallace Shawn, Allen Shawn is agoraphobicahe is afraid of both public spaces and isolation. "Wish I Could Be There" gracefully captures both of these extraordinary realities, blending memoir and scientific inquiry in an utterly engrossing quest to understand the mysteries of the human mind. Droll, probing, and honest, Shawn explores the many ways we all become who we are, whether through upbringing, genes, or our own choices, creating aan eloquent meditation upon the mysteries of personality and familya* and the struggle to face oneas demons. Bookseller Inventory # B9780143113072

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