Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life

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Penguin, Jan 29, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
5 Reviews
In addition to being the son of famous New Yorker editor William Shawn and brother of the distinguished playwright and actor Wallace Shawn, Allen Shawn is agoraphobic-he is afraid of both public spaces and isolation. Wish I Could Be There gracefully captures both of these extraordinary realities, blending memoir and scientific inquiry in an utterly engrossing quest to understand the mysteries of the human mind. Droll, probing, and honest, Shawn explores the many ways we all become who we are, whether through upbringing, genes, or our own choices, creating "an eloquent meditation upon the mysteries of personality and family"* and the struggle to face one's demons.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lkernagh - LibraryThing

Shawn’s examination of his agoraphobia and his family life as a possible “trigger” for his phobia reads like a rather strange blending of introspective analysis, family memories and a textbook ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AuntieClio - LibraryThing

Allen Shawn writes about being phobic. How his phobias shape his life, how he's tried to overcome them, and how knowing how his childhood environment shaped them doesn't relieve the tension. Trying to ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Selected Readings
Index

Chapter Eight

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About the author (2008)

Allen Shawn is the author of the critically acclaimed Wish I Could Be There and Arnold Schoenberg's Journey. He is a composer and pianist, and has written for the Atlantic Monthly, the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times Magazine, and other publications. He lives in Vermont and is on the faculty of Bennington College.

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