The story of the childhood and youth of Peter Heller, one of the first children to be psychoanalyzed by Anna Freud. To tell this story Vivian Heller draws on a wealth of primary sources, including her father's case history and his internment diary, using novelistic techniques to bring the past alive. While in Anna's care, Peter's native Vienna slides into Fascist barbarism and he is forced to navigate an increasingly dangerous world. He flees to England only to be deported to Canada, where he is interned as a German-speaking foreign national, a situation that put him among Jewish refugees and Nazi P.O.W.’s.
Vivian Heller received her Ph.D. in English Literature and Modern Studies from Yale University. Her non-fiction publications include Joyce, Decadence, and Emancipation (University of Illinois Press) which won the Choice Book Award, and The City Beneath Us (W.W. Norton & Company.) Her essays have appeared in New Observations, The Journal of Literature and Medicine and The Georgetown Review. Her short stories have appeared in Confrontation, Bomb and Fence. She received a NYFA Fellowship in 2011 and a Yaddo Fellowship in 2013 to complete her upcoming book, a work of creative non-fiction based on family archives. She has taught literature and writing at Bennington, Barnard and Bard. She has worked as a facilitator and scribe for Narrative Medicine workshops at The NYU/Bellevue Program for the Survivors of Torture. She is a long-standing member of the PEN Prison-Writing Committee.
Analysis and Exile:
Boyhood, Loss, and the
Lessons of Anna Freud
“Analysis and Exile is not only a remarkable portrait of a young man’s development – it also gives an unusually intimate portrait of the early years of child psychoanalysis, the rise of fascism in Europe and the shameful treatment of Jewish refugees escaping Nazi persecution. This is both social history and a rich account of a young man’s struggles to make sense of his own place in the world, as that world transforms around him.” – Nick Midgley , author of Reading Anna Freud and Co-Director of the Child Attachment and Psychological Therapies Research Unit at The Anna Freud Centre