“The Known, the Secret, the Forgotten” is a new book by a BPSI Member, Joan Wheelis, MD, published by W.W. Norton in April, 2019.
Crafted from slivers of reminiscence and reflection, Joan Wheelis’s beautifully written memoir explores the intricacies of attachment and the perils of love and inevitable loss.
The New York Times has recently reviewed and shortlisted Wheelis’s book for the best memoirs of 2019.
We glimpse the author’s childhood in San Francisco and her relationship with her distinguished psychoanalyst parents through a series of jewel-like vignettes. She explores her past through her questions about life and the lessons her parents taught her about the existence of God, how to cut a napoleon and build a fire, and the hazards of self-deception.
Into this tapestry of memory Wheelis, also a psychoanalyst, weaves profound reflections from adulthood. Wrestling with the loss of her parents, the author faces the questions of what matters and what remains of their lives. She reckons with their histories and legacies, tracing the heritage of love and conflict through the generations. As she revisits the rooms and landscapes of her past, her prose takes on the poetic logic of memory itself.
About the Author: Joan Wheelis, MD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School on the clinical faculty at both Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. She is the founder and director of Two Brattle Center and has a private practice in Cambridge, MA. Joan Wheelis is the author of several book reviews and articles on psychoanalytic treatment and DBT, and one of the editors, with Joseph Shay, of Odysseys in Psychotherapy (Ardent Media, 2002).