Scary Old Sex

SCARY OLD SEX: STORIES is not for the squeamish. Arlene Heyman is a NYC psychiatrist, who writes with clinical detachment about anatomy, senior sex, and in one story, the demise of laboratory rats. Her characters are sharply drawn and their relationships are deep. The subject is families and the intricacies of working out the inevitable changes in bodies and personalities as time passes.  In “Dancing,” a teen looks out the window of his classroom to see the twin towers fall and then walks to the hospital where his father is being treated for cancer. Heyman strides into the most difficult human conditions and observes with precision. Her characters are unforgettable and each probably echoes some private or hidden part in each of us. This collection etches scenes into the reader’s memory…the sure sign of powerful writing.

Advertisements

What made them tick?

Autism, bulimia, OCD, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, addiction, gender dysphoria…can you match the psychological condition to the historic personalities of Marilyn Monroe, Charles Darwin, Howard Hughes, and others?

In ANDY WARHOL WAS A HOARDER: INSIDE THE MINDS OF HISTORY’S GREAT PERSONALITIES, journalist Claudia Kalb looks into the lives of 12 celebrated icons through the lens of modern psychology. In each chapter, she presents the historic record of behavior that indicates a diagnosis. Then, she examines the evolution of that diagnosis and speculates how the behavior would be regarded and treated today.

History fans and psychology buffs will zoom through this interesting take on the motivations and tribulations of the famous. I learned that Darwin spent his life crippled with anxiety and hypochondria. Kalb explains the possible origins of his condition and applauds his accomplishments while suffering. Did you know that George Gershwin was dismissed from school because of behavior typical of those labeled ADHD today? The treatment for ADHD is very different now than it was when Gershwin was young. Have potential Gershwins been thwarted in their creativity by modern medication?

HEAR CLAUDIA KALB TALK ABOUT HER BOOK AT THE WESTPORT LIBRARY ON SUNDAY APRIL 3 AT 2PM