The Only Gift

Arnold R. Beisser, Author Doubleday Books $17.95 (241p) ISBN 978-0-385-41621-4
Rounding out his autobiographic trilogy ( Flying Without Wings ; A Graceful Passage ), psychiatrist Beisser offers ``thought on the meaning of friends and friendship.'' Friendship has been particularly important to the author and his wife Rita since he was paralyzed by polio more than 40 years ago. In their 60s, the couple now appreciates more than ever friends who are at hand when needed and others who, far from their Los Angeles home, keep in touch. Beisser tells of losing a boyhood friend through his own denial of their common Jewish heritage, and of being reunited with him later in life. In medical school, the author's comparatively mild offense against one friend was so magnified by guilt that he broke that connection as well, though this friendship, too, was revived after many years. These are among the people whom Beisser persuaded to add observations to his own warming, unsurprising discourses on relationships that he believes are vital to human life. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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