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Conversations with Robert Coles

Conversations with Robert Coles

Edited by Jay Woodruff & Sarah Carew Woodruff
Series: Literary Conversations Series
Paperback : 9780878055531, 276 pages, February 1992


Robert Coles is a psychiatrist with a novelist's sensibilities. “Of course everything I come up with,” he says, “novelists have known beforehand. ”

These twenty-three interviews selected from hundreds that Coles has given disclose not only an illustrious physician trained in pediatrics and psychoanalysis but also a sage whose compassion for children and suffering seems boundless.

In focusing on a man known mainly as an eminent psychiatrist and author of The Spiritual Life of Children and more than fifty other books, this collection is a departure from the other books in the Literary Conversations Series. By no means is Coles best known as a writer of belles lettres, as are other figures in this series. Yet his varied critical insights and the critical authority with which he approaches literary subjects have enriched American literature.

Here through the prism of his medical and literary training, Coles's conversations reveal his imposing moral vision. As he ranges with penetrating wisdom over many subjects—children, literature, teaching, psychiatry, family—he explores the cultural, social, and intellectual dimensions of our lives.