The Analyst: A Daughter’s Memoir

Columbia Univ. Oct. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780231202787. $35. MEMOIR
Historian Wexler (The Woman Who Walked into the Sea: Huntington’s and the Making of a Genetic Disease) is the eldest daughter of Milton Wexler, who started his professional career as a lawyer before pivoting and becoming a psychoanalyst. Milton spent much of his time working with patients living with schizophrenia in the 1960s. He worked with big names in the field and later moved from Minnesota to L.A., where he led group therapy sessions amongst several artists, even some movie stars, in the area. When his ex-wife and the mother of his children developed Huntington’s disease, a complex and terminal genetic condition, he took his eclectic knowledge and his connections with various scientists and doctors to create the Hereditary Disease Foundation, which led to groundbreaking research in the field. Multiple letters, reports, and interviews with Wexler’s friends and family are cited throughout this memoir, leading to a more intimate understanding of his thoughts and feelings.
VERDICT This memoir looks into the past of medical research and provides some context as to how far the field has come today. Anyone interested in the history of mental health care and genetic diseases would find this memoir fascinating.
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