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Freud's Blind Spot: 23 Original Essays on Cherished, Estranged, Lost, Hurtful, Hopeful, Complicated Siblings Paperback – November 16, 2010


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Freud's Blind Spot: 23 Original Essays on Cherished, Estranged, Lost, Hurtful, Hopeful, Complicated Siblings + How This Night Is Different: Stories + The Book of Dahlia: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (November 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439154724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439154724
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The opportunity to explore relationships between siblings is rich with possibilities and fraught with dramatic moments, as 24 writers with blood siblings, half siblings, step siblings, and in one case, an imaginary sibling, write about their brothers and sisters with honesty, bravery, and no small amount of humor. Beginning the lineup is Steve Almond's (Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life) "The Brothers Grim," in which he entertains the reader as he tells one self-deprecating tale after another of his adolescent suffering at the hands of his brothers. In "Islanders," Eric Orner uses a graphic novel format to recount a teenage summer spent on Martha's Vineyard with his brother under the dark cloud of their parents' stormy relationship. The essays focus on the sibling bond of losing or caring for a parent; the loss of a sibling to sudden death or religious conversion; the arrival of new siblings through extramarital affairs or gender-reassignment surgery; and the unrequited longing for a sister, among other significant issues. At times, the selection and arrangement of the essays feels inconsistent, though there are plenty of standout essays such as Etgar Keret's "Ultra Orthodox Sister" and Daphne Beal's "The Age of Innocence." (Nov.) (c)
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From Booklist

This anthology of essays focuses on a subject about which Freud himself didn’t have much to say: siblings. Selected and edited by Albert (How This Night Is Different, 2006; The Book of Dahlia, 2008), the collection examines the ins and outs of sibling relationships. Albert herself confesses to having somewhat of an obsession with brother and sister dynamics, which may be because she is a self-described refugee from her own dysfunctional family. The meat of this anthology comes from authors from all walks of life examining the role their brothers and sisters, or lack thereof, played in their early lives. Some describe the pristine happiness of their upbringings, while others lament their emotionally challenging, occasionally scarring, and on rare occasion, violent childhoods. Contributors include Steve Almond, Rebecca Wolff, Peter Orner, Lauren Grodstein, Joanna Hershon, and Victor LaValle. The pace of this collection is quick and the editing tight, ultimately resulting in a fine-tuned, poignant, insightful, and often funny looking glass into the realm of siblings. --Julie Hunt

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Customer Reviews

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You will really really love this book if you are a sibling and a parent!
kelseyinbrooklyn
This is a book that I would recommend to everyone and as a high school English teacher I think it would be a great non-fiction writing assignment for my kids.
Sarah Wright
Albert does a great job at keeping the book cohesive, even with wildly different styles in writing, ranging from essay to comic to question and answer.
CincinnatiPOV

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr Mitchell Earleywine VINE VOICE on January 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are astoundingly diverse and textured essays that form a great tapestry of themes, writing styles, and content. Each is very moving in its own way, without the sappy, stereotypical whining that I feared would have to happen sooner or later. It's delightful to see the range of relationships but equally fun to see the articulate and novel ways that they are depicted. It's hard to explain. Although there are no real recommendations or self-helpy pointers, it's easy to finish with a sense for what to do while interacting with (or raising!) siblings as well as renewed motivation to do it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CincinnatiPOV on May 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
The relationship between siblings is especially maddening. No one but my sister can recite my diary entry describing my first kiss. Or has the stolen entry hidden away in her files some 15 years after the fact. Only my brother can quote my side of dramatic fights with my mother, all in a mocking tone. My youngest sister still recalls exactly where I hid the stash of cookies and candy in my childhood bedroom.

Conversely, siblings form a bond created by years of shared experiences. I will be among the first my siblings call for help when they need to make hard decisions. I nearly always have someone I can go to a movie or grab drink with. And throughout all the relationships in my life, there are three people who know me nearly as well as I know myself and will always be there for me.

Freud's Blind Spot: 23 Original Essays on Cherished, Estranged, Lost, Hurtful, Hopeful, Complicated Siblings, edited by Elisa Albert, examines the strange forces that bring siblings together and drive them apart. The stories feature siblings as best friends, strangers, bullies, rivals and as memories. The theme throughout, although sometimes not stated, is that regardless of the dynamics, our relationships with our siblings are an important part of the equation as to who our adult selves turn out to be.

Albert does a great job at keeping the book cohesive, even with wildly different styles in writing, ranging from essay to comic to question and answer. The three sets of essays formatted as messages back and forth between siblings are fascinating. In two stories, one sibling will send the other a questionnaire about a variety of things: earliest memories, was it true that you...?,did you like me?, etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Wright on March 1, 2011
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I absolutely loved this book! I am not one for reviewing books, why I'm not sure, but nonetheless I'm not, but it has been a long time since I have felt so connected to a book. Albert's idea of having 24 authors write about their relationships with siblings is completely ingenious. I have always talked about the importance of my relationship with both my siblings, which I might add is an absolutely wonderful relationship, and yet it seems to often be something that is forgotten by most people. There were only two of the stories that I really did not enjoy, but for reading 24 authors and 1 editor all within one book I by no means feel sad about that. This is a book that I would recommend to everyone and as a high school English teacher I think it would be a great non-fiction writing assignment for my kids. Just, absolutely wonderful!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By parker on August 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting. Makes the point that Freud considered generations vertically rather than horizontally, overlooking siblings' input into each others' psyches. A worthwhile read for those interested in this sort of thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kelseyinbrooklyn on October 16, 2011
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This is a gem of a book that has had me laughing, weeping and sobbing. If you like essays and are human you will love this book. You will really really love this book if you are a sibling and a parent!
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