W. W. NORTON & COMPANY, INC.
A Promotional Flier from the Publisher
"[Alice Miller is] the guru of wounded inner children everywhere...bringing news of the inner life, and especially the subtle hazards of emotional development, out of the cloistered offices of therapists and into a wider, user-friendly context."-Daphne Merkin, New York Times Book Review
"Alice Miller's arguments are lucid, closely reasoned, and utterly convincing."-Elaine Kendall, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Alice Miller makes chillingly clear to the many what has been recognized only by the few: the extraordinary pain and psychological suffering inflicted on children under the guise of conventional childrearing."-Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are
"As Alice Miller knows and makes so clear, the body remembers all the pain and suffering of childhood. Readers will find much in this book that resonates with their own experiences and learn how to confront the overt and covert traumas of their own childhoods." Philip Greven, professor emeritus, Rutgers University and author of Spare the Child: The Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse
"In her brilliant book, Alice Miller uses famous people's lives, like Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf, to teach us all a concept that is common in all of our lives--that unhealed trauma creates illness. I loved this book." -Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D., author of The New Feminine Brain and Awakening Intuition
Since her revolutionary break with the study of child trauma on the adult person in the late 1970s, explicated in such groundbreaking works as The Drama of the Gifted Child, Prisoners of Childhood, and The Truth Will Set You Free, Alice Miller has stood at the forefront of psychotherapy's research into the legacy of childhood trauma on adult behavior. Her fascinating, deeply compassionate books offer case studies of both ordinary individuals and accomplished geniuses in order to examine the effects of cruel parenting on an individual's long-term happiness. THE BODY NEVER LIES [W. W. NORTON; MAY 23,2005; $23.95 cloth] is Miller's most lucid and compelling work to date, providing extensive evidence that only by acknowledging the wrongs done to us as innocent children can we move toward living as fulfilled and healthy adults. To do otherwise -- to ignore the truth in order to protect our families and conform to society's norms -- wrecks not just the soul but the physical body itself.
Our daily responses to the world may be divided into the physical and emotional, yet these two categories are not autonomous. Our health is frequently damaged by long repressed feelings of emotional trauma, anger about being spanked or otherwise, these are hurts that we may have never consciously processed because to do so might break social mores. Over the decades since childhood, feelings of humiliation, rage, and powerlessness can fester if we insist on remembering a happy upbringing; untreated, these feelings will eventually manifest themselves in fatal illness. Such was the case, Miller shows, with such filially pious and brilliant authors as Arthur Rimbaud, Virginia Woolf, and Marcel Proust. Rimbaud's suffering under a malevolent and unsupportive mother drove him to the drug addiction, restless traveling, and bottomless self-loathing that finally caused him to give up writing and turn to business; he died at thirty-seven of cancer. Wolf committed suicide after accepting that her step-brothers' childhood molestation of her was her fault -- the result of her own sexual fantasies according to Freudian theory. A suffocating mother kept Proust from publishing his masterwork In Search of Lost Time until after her death, for fear its incisive indictment of bourgeois values would offend her; an asthma victim since childhood, he died just two months after its publication.
All of these authors died too young, refusing to acknowledge that their feelings of resentment toward their parents were legitimate, that society's embrace of the fourth commandment -- "Honor thy father and thy mother" -- might be fallible, even wrong. Miller goes on to consider the commonplace manifestations of childhood trauma in contemporary society, from substance abuse to anorexia nervosa. Most urgently, she presses us to seek understanding, nonjudgmental therapeutic treatment, lest we, too, inflict the crimes of our elders on future generations.
THE BODY NEVER LIES is a book of healing, and its message continues the important research that earned Miller worldwide fame in her best-selling original work, The Drama of the Gifted Child. In all her writing, Miller proves herself a courageous, pioneering mind in exploring the most taboo of psychological subjects -- cruel parenting. Her work is remarkable for its brilliant insight into the psychology of some of the greatest thinkers of Western history and its intimate portrayal of more ordinary individuals' long-term damage from child abuse, from her patients' to her own. Offering systemic analysis of how to approach therapy and live outside the traditions of a society governed by the fourth commandment, THE BODY NEVER LIES is necessary reading for all individuals committed to leading an enlightened and compassionate existence.
Alice Miller, the Swiss psychotherapist and researcher on childhood, is the author of such classic works as The Drama of the Gifted Child and Prisoners of Childhood. She lives in Switzerland. For more information, visit www.alice-miller.com
TITLE: THE BODY NEVER LIES
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