Publisher: Bancroft Press (Oct 1, 2017)
Category: Literary Fiction, Celebrities, Barbra Streisand
Tour dates: Oct/Nov, 2017
Available in Print, 308 pages
We all know Barbra, the star, but how well do we know Barbra, the woman? In the latest installment of my On the Couch series, Dr. Darcy Dale, a renowned, pioneering Manhattan psychiatrist, is confronted by Barbra, who is dismayed after thirty years of minimally successful therapy. Over the course of a year, Dr. Dale conducts an intimate psychoanalysis, breaking through Barbra’s defense mechanisms and repressions to delve deep into the heart and mind of one of America’s last remaining superstars.
Published at the same time as Streisand’s own, long awaited memoir, Barbra Streisand: On the Couch is an essential companion, a sensitive, objective, pitch-perfect opportunity to look behind the voice and image, and to understand and fully appreciate Barbra Streisand, the human being.
Praise Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.
“Thoroughly enjoyable.”—Kitty Kelley, author of mega bestselling biographies on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, the British Royal Family, the Bush family, and Oprah Winfrey
“Absolutely delightful … and wonderful … with fabulous insight … Fans of Barbra Streisand [will] love this book . . . It’s impossible to come away from [it] with anything but a warm, fuzzy feeling for this . . . adored songbird… Underneath is [an] . . . insecure little girl who lost her daddy . . . and never truly got over it.”—Readers Favorite
“This will appeal to anyone who enjoys discovering information about such a celebrity, how she feels about the ups and downs of her life, and other juicy details of her storied sex life and stellar career. […] The book has a can’t-put-it-down quality; the juiciness of the gossip, the emotional insights into her joy and pain, and the remarkable triumphs and failures of her long career are completely fascinating. Although the book is fiction, the author lists in a bibliography the numerous books and articles from which she garnered the very factual events and many of Miss Streisand’s own words from interviews that she used to create the sessions…”-Midwest Book Review
I’ve been a fan of Bond’s On the Couch series for years, but this one is absolutely her best. Barbra Streisand–with all her foibles and charms–comes alive on the pages of this book. Bond digs deep into Streisand’s psyche to give the reader a close-up look at a mega-star.
Instead of a tell-all novel that dishes out the dirt on her many costars, we follow along with Streisand as she herself recounts her many projects, affairs, and early history. Instead of a public relations–approved biography that glosses over Streisand’s need to be in control of her projects, this book revels in it, explores the reasons for a demanding actor/musician/director to behave as she does, shows the reader just how dedicated to her craft Streisand is.
If you’re a fan of her acting, her music, her career, or her activism, this is definitely a book you should read. Even if you’re not a fan, chances are you will be by the time you finish the book.”- Ann Beardsley
I had finished with my last patient of the day. My secretary Rivka Ruben had already left and I was about to close up shop when there was a loud banging at the door. Curious as to who might be calling at this late hour in the mugger-glutted city of New York, I looked out through the peephole on the door. There I saw a frumpy looking woman with a scarf wound around her head whose face seemed somewhat familiar. Who could that be, I wondered, and why is she bothering me on my birthday?
She knocked again, even louder this time, shouting, “Open up, Doc! You’re supposed to be a doctor, aren’tcha? Well, I wanna see ya!” Feeling a bit intimidated by her bluntness, but feeling curious, I opened the door.
“Yes?” I said. “What can I do for you?”
She answered in a heavy Brooklyn accent, projecting her words forward toward the front of her mouth, almost like a slight open‑mouthed pucker. She spoke in a fast New Yorkish way, using Brooklyn inflections and sparse consonants “I was drivin’ around the ciddy and thought of ya. Until the day she died Marilyn Monroe told everybody in Hollywood that ya’re a wonderful analyst. The scuttlebutt around town was that if she had continued her treatment with ya she would still be alive. Although it was years ago and I was only a little kid just starting to make the rounds, I remembered your name and thought I’d check to see if ya’ re still alive and kicking.”
“Thank you,” I said. “I’m very flattered. But who are you?”
She continued as if she hadn’t heard me, the words shooting out of her mouth as if fired by a machine gun. “I was driving by your office and got this sudden urge to see if ya were here. So I pahked my cah by a fire plug. I wanna see ya. Knowing me, if I don’t act on impulse I’d probably never get here.”
I hesitated. “Well. It’s a bit unusual, but since you are here, let’s talk. But first tell me who you are.”
She looked surprised that I didn’t know.
She pulled herself up to her full five feet five inches and said proudly, “I am Barbra Streisand. Ya must be the only person in the world who doesn’t recognize me. Can I sit down now?”
Used as I was to seeing celebrities, this one kind of knocked me off my feet. I took a deep breath and said, “Excuse me, Ms. Streisand. I wasn’t expecting you. By all means, have a seat.” She took off her raggedy coat and scarf, which I now understood were a disguise, and plopped herself down on Rivka’s chair, which was on wheels. The next thing I knew she shouted, “Whee,” and rolled across the office floor. “I feel like Miss Marmelstein! Ya know, the part I played in my first big Broadway hit, I Can Get it for you Wholesale.” was!
It was a psychiatric interview to end all interviews! Barbra looked very different without her disguise. Her hair was straight shoulder length blonde, which hung loosely down the sides of her face. She has a way of stroking her naturally shining hair with long, pale, spiky, fingers, as if she were soothing a crying child. At times she swings her hair to cut off the sides of her face, like curtains or the skullcap of a nun. She has a dramatically distinctive face with sculptured features that would attract any viewer like a magnet. But most distinctive of all are her azure-blue eyes, which were generously outlined and about the bluest I’ve ever seen.she exuded a lovely look I have never seen before, as though she were lit up from inside.to her.
“Well, Doctor Dale,” she said“whatcha think? What about it?”
What about what? I answered.
“Will ya see me for analysis or not? Or are ya turned off by my spontaneity?”
I hesitated. It was true that I was used to potential patients treating me with deference and found her “spontaneity” in the present situation preposterous. And besides that, I wasn’t sure I liked her. There was a grandiose, narcissistic, hostile quality about her that I found off-putting. Could I work with someone I disliked, even if she was a famous star? Well, I can find out. A patient doesn’t come for analysis to be liked, I told myself, but to be helped. Maybe I even could help her get rid of her unpleasant characteristics. She certainly would be an interesting patient. So I decided to interview her, even if it was on my birthday
“Let’s talk,” I answered, opening up my office door and beckoning her to enter.
Award winning author, Alma Halbert Bond received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, and became a highly successful psychoanalyst in private practice for 37 years in New York City. She “retired” to become a full-time writer. Barbra Streisand: On the Couch is currently in production with Bancroft Press, who publish the On the Couch series.
Hillary Clinton: On the Couch was published a few months ago, and received a Best Books Award Finalist book award. Jackie O: On the Couch, the first of her On the Couch series to be published by Bancroft Press, was published on August 15, 2011, and received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Best Books Award Finalist USA Book News, and International Book Awards Finalist. . Margaret Mahler, a Biography of the Psychoanalyst was published by McFarland Press in 2008. It received two awards, Best Books Award Finalist USA Book News and Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist.
Michelle Obama, a Biography, was recently published by Greenwood Press. Dr. Bond has had 20 other books published.
Among other organizations, Dr. Bond is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Dramatists Guild, PEN, the International Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Psychological Association. She taught psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, where she is a fellow, and also has been a faculty member of WritersSchool, where she taught Psychology and Literature.
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