Empathy Provocative observant and daring this novel by one of America s preeminent lesbian writers and thinkers is being reissued for the Little Sister s Classics series Anna O is a loner in New York

  • Title: Empathy
  • Author: Sarah Schulman
  • ISBN: 9781551524016
  • Page: 308
  • Format: ebook
  • Provocative, observant, and daring, this 1992 novel by one of America s preeminent lesbian writers and thinkers is being reissued for the Little Sister s Classics series Anna O is a loner in New York, an office temp obsessed with a mysterious woman in white leather Doc is a post Freudian psychiatrist who hands out business cards to likely neurotics on street corners, anProvocative, observant, and daring, this 1992 novel by one of America s preeminent lesbian writers and thinkers is being reissued for the Little Sister s Classics series Anna O is a loner in New York, an office temp obsessed with a mysterious woman in white leather Doc is a post Freudian psychiatrist who hands out business cards to likely neurotics on street corners, and is himself looking for personal fulfillment They befriend each other in the netherworld of the Lower East Side, two unlikely people drawn together by their confusion about and empathy for the world around them, and each other This beautifully written novel is about the fluidity of desire, and how those of us damaged by love can still be transformed by it Features a new essay by the author and an introduction by Kevin Killian.

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      Published :2018-05-27T21:20:45+00:00

    One thought on “Empathy”

    1. Sara Schulman, Empathy (Dutton, 1992)Until roughly twenty minutes before writing this review, I was getting ready to say Empathy was going to be a definite for my best twenty-five reads of 2003 list. Then I read the last three chapters.The first twenty-seven are brilliant. The story's two main characters are Anna O a lesbian attempting to get over an old relationship and find someone new, and Doc, a post-Freudian therapist who finds prospective clients by handing out business cards on the street [...]

    2. I'm not really sure what to say about this book I'm not entirely sure I understand what happened. Empathy certainly has that chaotic, surrealist, psychoanalytic-meltdown style that seems to come from post-modern new york-based literature. I think Arthur Nersesian took notes from Schulman's rapid character deterioration/confusion. I'm not sad I read it, but I feel like there's a lot going on in this story and it's hard to keep all of the strands in mind at once. It could use a book club discussio [...]

    3. The most extraordinary and accomplished (to date) of Schulman's amazing body of work. This turns Freud's Dora on its ear, inside out, and dresses her in drag, and it's just so sad and powerful, all the way through.

    4. It's hard to summarise this book without spoiling it. It's about Anna and Doc and psychology anduff. Really, I have no idea how to summarise, so that will have to do. It's about a woman coming to terms with being a lesbian and what that means to her. (But not in a "coming out" sort of way.)[return][return]Anyway! This is very experimental, with some scenes written in script format, and it took me a little longer to get into than After Delores did, but it did hook me and I ended up really enjoyin [...]

    5. I had to read this for my LGQ lit class. It was an interesting read. You do need to know a bit about Freud and his case studies to get more out of this story than just the average stumble-upon reader. I could see the big plot twist coming but a lot of people [in my class] didn't until we were discussing things and I mentioned it. They all latched on to that idea henceforth and it ended up being the case. It wasn't much of a surprise for me, but it was still interesting. It's an okay read, again- [...]

    6. A friend told me this was her favorite book, and the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking "really?!". Honestly, trying to figure out why my friend liked it was the only reason I saw this book through to the end. Well, and the fact that it was so short made this easier. Something about the arty style of the writing felt forced and hard to follow. Dreadful. I haven't read more by this author, and maybe if I am truly desperate for something to read I will give another of her books a try.

    7. I'm still trying to figure out what I think of this. I think there are some undertones that, if intended as some sort of universal narrative (which may or may not be the case) about womanhood/lesbianism, it could be read as anti-trans. i'm just not sure. Nevertheless, the book is funny, and it does have its moments of clarity and insight.

    8. Having read this book through once, I immediately need to restart reading it again from the beginning. Thanks for blowing my mind, Sarah Schulman! Also, non-shitty lesbian novels: there are not enough of you.

    9. Stay tuned for a piece about growing up as the last generation relying on retrogressive Freudianism, library homosexuality, and brief mentions of "Lesbianism"--with the capital L--and how it helped me IDENTIFY with Empathy (in Emily Books)

    10. Anna O. is a lesbian living in East Village in 1991 who is ready to give up on love. Doc is an lay therapist who hands out his card on street corners, charges $10 an hour, and allows only 3 sessions.They talk about listening.

    11. "Freud is just an idea. It can work for you or against you." In some ways Empathy is a departure from Schulman's previous 4 novels, but it might be more accurate to say that it's an intellectual/Freudian distillation of her usual themes or that the intellectual/psychoanalytic is brought to the forefront instead of the subtext. In any event, this book is far less "plotty" than her previous work. Instead it uses Freudian dream-analysis, metaphor, and probably a lot of other Freudian concepts that [...]

    12. I liked the script chapters and i appreciated the originality (in its style & form) of this novel, but overall i felt a bit like it was trying to show me it was smarter than me. I also did not like Anna confronting her family relentlessly about her homosexuality; those bits felt heavy-handed to me, and maybe a bit "dated".

    13. Another amazing-sounding book rec'd by the awesome Emily Books. Anna O. is a thirtyish New Yorker living in the squalid East Village of 1990. Dead friends and junkies on the sidewalk are a fact of life, and worsening political unrest is threatening to destroy the world as she knows it. Plus, she's always falling for the wrong women. She needs help, and she finds it -- or does she? -- in the person of Doc, a street-corner therapist who charges $10 and only sees each of his patients three times be [...]

    14. “I’m not trying to pass, except to myself. I mean, how many times can a person be told in a multitude of ways that she will never be fully human because she is not a man? The logical conclusion is to become a man to herself, simply to retain the most basic self-respect.”“What are you going to do now, Anna, cry in my ear? Crying is a manipulation. Saying how you feel is a manipulation because it gives information with the hopes of impacting my behavior. Get it? Get it?”Two (unrelated) f [...]

    15. Kind of exhausting, like being around a really difficult person, but I actually think Schulman would take that as a compliment? You really get a sense of someone so stuck inside her own head and basically pulling you in there with her. I know some people didn't like that war breakdown towards the end, but it was one of my favorite parts. I loved, too, how this felt so specifically time and place, like so, so, lower east side 1990.

    16. recommended to me. a little dramatic as the characters seem to do the opposite of what i try to do in my own life: avoid turmoil. a Jewish lesbian who has identity issues and finds herself in a world of, well, herself, trying to identify why she always hangs herself up on, well, herself. a "twist" ending that is the most interesting part of the book which only lasts three pages. i hear this author has better stuff.

    17. I feel bad that my focus went elsewhere for the last third or fourth of this book because the prose was very engaging and reminded me of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime which is one of my favorites. I need to reread this sometime because there's this turning point, realization, that made me go, whoaaa, and wish that I had been more attentive all along. My problem, Doc would say, is that I don't listen :(

    18. really so prescient and certain bits felt especially weird to read during this week of all weeks. Poignant without being cloying. I really didn't expect to love it as much as I did, to be honest. Makes me excited to read more of her work.

    19. One of my all time favorite books. I've re-read it multiple times and still find new things in it. Funny and insightful. I laughed out loud repeatedly. this book may not seem funny for those who lack empathy, or who are really young. If not, try again in 10 years.

    20. This was a very good book. It talked about some pressing matters with humour in them. The last five chapters however made me give the book only four stars, it just got too weird even for me, but then again, this was written in 1992, I wasn't even then :)

    21. I've tried to read this twice but each time just couldn't get into it, which is disappointing because her prose is quite good. I think I just felt the story wasn't going anywhere.

    22. Shame on me for not taking hold of experimental gay novelist adventures until 2015, learn from my mistake and get on the Sarah Schulman train.

    23. I love the writing in this book about the specific homophobia of liberal Jewish families. this book gets complicated and weird (experimental) at the end and I was very annoyed by where it went.

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