Shattered Selves: Multiple Personality in a Postmodern World

James M. Glass, Author HarperCollins Publishers $45 (177p) ISBN 978-0-8014-2809-8
Glass's scholarly, impassioned study plunges readers into a world of ongoing torment, suffering, alienation, terror and distortion--the lives of women with multiple personality disorder (MPD), whom he interviewed at a Maryland psychiatric hospital. All of his subjects develop alter-selves as protection from the horrors of childhood incest or other physical and mental abuse. One woman had participated in satanic cult rites and was repeatedly raped by her father, who was the cult's high priest. The patients' compelling narratives are interwoven with Glass's complex critique of postmodernist thinkers like Jean Baudrillard and Jean-Francois Lyotard, who reject psychoanalysis and celebrate a self without boundaries. Glass ( Private Terror/Public Life ) charges that the postmodernists' nihilistic view of the self as a purely social construct dangerously neglects people's inner realities and their propensity for painful fragmentation. His feminist discourse analyzes MPD as the consequence of male abuse of power in a patriarchal society. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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