The American Journal of Psychoanalysis

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 209–212 | Cite as

When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia, by Christopher Bollas, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015, 226pp.

  • John Turtz
Book Reviews

The writer and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel (1972), in his book of Hasidic tales entitled Souls on Fire: Portraits and Legends of Hasidic Masters, tells the story of a prince who believes himself to be a rooster. He refuses to wear clothes and spends all day hiding under a table. The king can find no one that can help his son. Finally, a sage tells the king that he thinks he can help. This man undresses and joins the prince under the table. The prince asks him what he is doing, and the sage tells him that he too is a rooster. From there on in, the healing process begins.

Christopher Bollas, in his book When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia, writes about the need for the healer to stand inside the shoes of the person with schizophrenia and enter that person’s experiential world. In a world where genetic and neurobiological explanations and pharmacological treatments rule the day, it is refreshing to read a book that emphasizes an understanding of schizophrenia from the most...


  1. Fromm-Reichmann, F. (1948). Notes on the development of treatment of schizophrenics by psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Psychiatry, 11, 263–273.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Whitaker, R. (2010). Anatomy of an epidemic: Magic bullets, psychiatric drugs, and the astonishing rise of mental illness in America. New York: Crown Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Wiesel, E. (1972). Souls on fire: portraits and legends of hasidic masters. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyManhattan Institute for PsychoanalysisNew YorkUSA

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