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Hill, S. (2013). Winnicott, The Revolutionary: A Review of Donald Winnicott Today, by Jan Abram (2013), Routledge, New York, 478 pages.. Psychoanal. Perspect., 10(2):378-387.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10(2):378-387

Book Review

Winnicott, The Revolutionary: A Review of Donald Winnicott Today, by Jan Abram (2013), Routledge, New York, 478 pages.

Sarah Hill, RCST

I am asking for a kind of revolution in our work. Let us re examine what we do.

—D.W. Winnicott (Abram, 2013, p. 312)

When I was asked to write a review of a book on Winnicott, I agreed without hesitation. Everybody loves Winnicott—this will be a breeze, I thought. Then I got a hold of the book, and, I must confess, was filled with dread. The book is 466 pages long and is comprised of 18 disparate essays by authors, most of whose names I did not recognize. Primarily British and French psychoanalysts, they are not the usual New York Relational crowd, whose language and thinking roll off the page for me by now. I was daunted by the challenge: the sheer size of the book, the unknown voices, and what I assumed would be an unwieldy lack of cohesion due to the number of essays, making any thematic review unlikely. The book sat on my night table for weeks, gathering dust as my anxiety mounted. Winnicott was gradually transformed from a benevolent nurturer of spontaneity to an admonishing ghost, needling me in the evenings to hunker down and do away with pleasure. Whenever I found myself with free time to read, I only wanted to engage my own creative work and would resent Winnicott's impinging presence.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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