The Orange Prize winner Suzanne Berne is on familiar ground with her fifth novel examining life in an affluent American village. Littlefield, Massachusetts, is named one of the 10 best places to live in America. Curiously, it also houses an unusually high number of psychotherapists. Clarice Watkins, a sociologist from the University of Chicago, decides to study Littlefield to find out exactly what makes it such a good place to live. She arrives to find a town at war, split between those who want their dogs to be off the leash in the local park and those who object. Opinions become more polarised when someone starts poisoning dogs and an undercurrent of fear pulses through the community.
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Tuesday 24 January 2012
Magic mushrooms could one day be prescribed for depression after Professor David Nutt, the controversial sacked government drugs advisor, claimed research on healthy volunteers proved what a mistake it was to abandon therapeutic psychedelic drugs more than 50 years ago.
Friday 20 January 2012
The Czech film director, Jan Svankmajer discusses a troubled childhood and the inspiration for his new film.
Tuesday 10 January 2012
The first thought, when someone is apprehended doing something of this fashion, is a straightforward and practical one. Is the person hard up? Sometimes people can't even admit to themselves that the bank balance is very low. Remember Occam's Razor – let's go for the simplest explanation to fit the facts.
Saturday 24 December 2011
Horst-Eberhard Richter was a pscyhoanalyst best known for his study of what he called the "god complex".
Sunday 30 October 2011
I took up comedy as a dare Six years ago, I was a dilettante knocking out advertising copy, and one of the guys in the agency said, "You're funny, why don't you try stand-up?" I'd never thought about stand-up before, it played no part in my life, but I found a comedy club round the corner, phoned and went and did a spot two weeks later. Little did I know that inside this self-doubting shell, there's this little narcissistic monster.
Tuesday 09 August 2011
Monday 18 July 2011
What is needed at this point in the saga, I can't help feeling, is neither a select committee nor a judicial inquiry, but family psychotherapy on an industrial scale. Take Liz Murdoch. If Liz's volcanic rage at being the biological daughter less loved by Daddy than the adopted sister with the Medusa tresses erupted with "Rebekah fucked the company", we must look to the distant past for the genesis of her filial anguish. I make no apology for repeating the anecdote, which is not only the most revealing snapshot of Rupert's soul, but may help us understand Liz's daughterly angst.
Sunday 01 May 2011
Sunday 24 April 2011
Children sent away to boarding school can suffer psychological damage akin to being taken into care, a leading psychotherapist warns. "Boarding School Syndrome" can leave adults struggling to form intimate relationships and unable to communicate emotions after being traumatised by forced separation from friends and family at a young age.
Sunday 24 April 2011
Last Night's TV: The Great Estate: The Rise and Fall of the Council House, BBC4 <br/>A Home for Maisie, BBC2 <br/> Bored to Death, Sky Atlantic
Tuesday 12 April 2011
Wednesday 29 December 2010
Few would disagree that Michael Green knows something of the drama of human existence. He was ousted as chairman of the newly-merged ITV in 2003 in one of the bloodiest shareholder revolts that the City had witnessed in decades.
Tuesday 07 December 2010
Linguistics boffins might insist James Naughtie's verbal slip was a spoonerism that occurred thanks to the easy exchange of the C for Culture with the H for Hunt. But analyse any conversation and you will find a dozen similar possibilities. Why did Naughtie make precisely this slip at this moment to cause himself and the nation maximum embarrassment (or hilarity, depending on your sensitivity)?
Tuesday 16 November 2010
The co-author of Families and How to Survive Them has embarked upon his Alimony Tour. One of the comic themes of this travelling one-man show derives from his divorce from his third wife Alyce, and the expensive settlement which followed. It could have been worse, one gag goes. "Imagine how much I'd have had to pay Alyce if she had contributed anything to the relationship – such as children or conversation."
The lampshade that drives its owners mad: Strange truth behind 20th century's most disturbing object
Sunday 31 October 2010
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
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