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Anshin, R.N. (1982). Are You Listening, Doctor — A Fictional Account of Patients in Therapy: Albert H. Schrut, M.D., Nelson Hall, Chicago, 1980, 231 pp.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 10(1):163-164.
(1982). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 10(1):163-164
Are You Listening, Doctor — A Fictional Account of Patients in Therapy: Albert H. Schrut, M.D., Nelson Hall, Chicago, 1980, 231 pp.
Review by: Roman N. Anshin, M.D.
It is most unusual for a mental health professional to write a work of fiction that is highly entertaining and yet at the same time shows us the work, mind, and soul of a psychoanalyst. It is rarer yet for such a book to have literary merit. Dr. Schrut's book is such a work.
Al Schrut's Are You Listening, Doctor is compelling, hard to put down, and, although entirely different in numerous ways from Wheelis' The Quest for Identity, is like Wheelis' classic in that we learn, experience and feel through infusion of the rich, compassionate beliefs and approach of the author.
W. Somerset Maugham and Pio Baroja, the great Spanish novelist and story teller, are two modern master novelists who were physicians. Walker Percy finished medical school prior to his commencing his contemporary novelistic exploits. Only Merrill Moore, a prominent poet of the ‘50’s, can be said to be a truly notable literateur among American psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. Al Schrut's work falls into a somewhat specialized category because it is fictionalized autobiography, didactic (at times) in intent, and essay-like in form. Certainly, the “non-fiction” novels of Mailer and Capote, Bernstein and Woodward's All the President's Men, Norman Cousins' Anatomy of an Illness, and a number of the very popular autobiographical explorer-traveler works of recent years — Theroux's The Great Railway Bazaar, Chatwin's In Patagonia, Simon's Jupiter's Travels — vaguely parallel Dr. Schrut's work.
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