“Striking . . . Subversive . . . Though much of Phillips’s subtle and powerful book is demystifying in effect, the result is the reverse of dispiriting: by accepting that our lives will be largely unlived, he suggests, we can learn to live more fully the life that we actually have.”—John Gray, Prospect magazine“Impressive . . . Phillips’s writing occasionally has a Lewis Carroll quality, as though the smoking caterpillar has taken a genuine interest in our psychic well-being.”—Laurence Scott, Financial Times“Extraordinary . . . Always humane, never reductive, Phillips is one of those writers whom it is a pleasure simply to hear think.”—Rowland Manthorpe, The Sunday Telegraph“Phillips identifies the seductive promises of satisfaction that mostly result in frustration and shows how we ‘learn to live somewhere between the lives we have and the lives we would like.’”—Iain Finlayson, The Times (London)
Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He is the author of many books, including On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored; Going Sane; Side Effects; and On Balance. He is also the coauthor, with the historian Barbara Taylor, of On Kindness; with the critic Leo Bersani, of Intimacies; and with the exhibition-maker Judith Clark, of The Concise Dictionary of Dress.