Joan Winnek's Reviews > The Sorrows of an American
The Sorrows of an American
Joan Winnek's review
Dec 31, 2009
I found this book complex and engrossing, with a number of richly developed characters: the narrator, Erik, his sister Inga, her daughter Sonia, Erik's tenant Miranda and her daughter Eggy. I appreciate the psychological insights, which include an appreciation of the effects of traumatic experience on the teenaged Sophie, the 5 year old Eggy, and the long-ago 2 year old Lisa who is now an old and peculiar woman. It is a book I know I will want to read again.
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Quotes Joan Liked
“I've come to think of consciousness as a continuum of states, from fully awake cogitation to daydreaming to the altered consciousness of hallucinations and dreams. Still, interpreting dreams can only take place when we're awake. I believe meaning is what the mind makes and wants. It's essential to perception and to consciousness in all its forms. But the important meanings of psychotherapy are subjective. There's a lot of research that confirms that drem content reflects the dreamer's emotional conflicts.”
“I've often thought that one of us is what we imagine, that each of us normalizes the terrible strangeness of inner life with a variety of convenient fictions.”
“The second anniversary opened an internal crack in Sonia, a fissure through which she released the explosive feeling that had horrified her for two years. The conflagration that had burned so many, that had pushed people into the open air, onto the ledges from which they jumped, some of them on fire, had left its unspeakable images inside my niece. ...Sonia didn't want a world in which buildings fell down and wars were fought for no reason.”
December 31, 2009 – Shelved
January 5, 2010 –52.29% "We're fragmented beings...there are always cracks. Living with the cracks is part of being...reasonably healthy."
January 8, 2010 – Finished Reading