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Library Journal Review
The authors, who founded and directed the Women's Therapy Centers in London and New York City and wrote Understanding Women and What Do Women Want, explore newly emerging differences between women in what they believe is a ``post-feminist'' period. Arguing that sisterly solidarity was easier to maintain when women faced more overt discrimination, they see conflicts and tensions as inevitabe when women move into the world of male endeavor. While individual stories exemplify these problems, the vignettes mostly reflect the lives of well-educated, affluent women. Topics include merging and separation, abandonment and envy, etc. For public libraries. Beverly Miller, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id . (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this unusually explicit and conscious collaboration, Eichenbaum and Orbach, both well-known feminist psychologists and authors, explore the emotional and psychological dynamics of women's friendships. Written in a more conversational, less academic style than a similar work by Valerie Miner and Helen Longino, Competition: A Feminist Taboo? (1987), the text approaches themes of abandonment, envy, competition, and anger from a loosely psychoanalytic framework. The unifying theme is the emphasis on the evolution of women's friendships from "merged attachments" toward the development of the capacity for separated attachments/connected autonomy. Explicit description of their sources, apparently professional upper-middle-class white women, is not provided. Although the authors assert in a foreword that this is not intended to be an account of the racial, class, or sexual diversities of women (echoing the limitations of Helen Gouldner's Speaking of Friendship, CH, Feb '88), their stated hope that their readers will use this as an inclusive account and the declarative universalizing tone of many generalizations in the text undercut this caveat. Given this limitation, the book is an honest and emotional exploration of the struggles and tensions of women's friendships, presented in an up-to-date, current context. Suitable for lower-division undergraduates and general readers. -J. A. Howard, University of Washington