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A fascinating dialogue on the human desire to make up stories between Nobel Prizewinning author J. M. Coetzee and psychotherapist Arabella Kurtz
The Good Story is an exchange between a writer with a long-standing interest in moral psychology and a psychotherapist with training in literary studies. Coetzee and Kurtz consider psychotherapy and its wider social context from different perspectives, but at the heart of both their approaches is a fascination with narrative. Working alone, the writer is in control of the story he or she tells. The therapist, on the other hand, collaborates with the patient in telling the story that might reveal the truth.”
The authors discuss both individual psychology and the psychology of the group: the school classroom, the gang, the settler nation in which the brutal deeds of the ancestors must be accommodated into a national story. In a meeting of the minds that is illuminating, surprising, and thought provoking, Coetzee and Kurtz explore the human capacity for self-examinationour attempts to understand our own individual life stories as well as our part in the larger story through language.
J.M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003. His work includes Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood, Youth, Disgrace, Summertime, and The Childhood of Jesus. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice.
Arabella Kurtz is a consultant clinical psychologist and is completing psychoanalytic psychotherapy training at the Tavistock Clinic in London. She has held various posts in the National Health Service adult and forensic mental health services and is currently a senior clinical tutor in the University of Leicester clinical psychology training course. Kurtz lives in England.