The Dinosaur Man: Tales of Madness and Enchantment from the Back Ward

Susan Baur, Author HarperCollins Publishers $19.95 (203p) ISBN 978-0-06-016538-3
Compassion and an eager spirit of inquiry unhindered by predetermined expectations are twin engines powering this account of a psychologist's observations, culled over nine years, of mentally ill patients encountered as outpatients and residents in long-term-care facilities. By listening for, and to a degree participating in, the narratives underlying schizophrenics' delusions, Baur ( Hypochondria: Woeful Imaginings ) found herself better able to penetrate the defenses expressed by these elaborate fantasies and to connect with the person behind them. Becoming ``dinosaur daughter'' to the man of the title, who called himself Nicodemosaurus, and willing witness to the pain of many others, she developed deep respect for those who ``crafted reality into the shields or canes or costumes they needed to survive.'' Her eloquently told tales, despite the sensationalistic subtitle, encourage in readers a similiar generosity toward those whose stories are often dismissed. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-06-098104-4
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