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A Walk on the Beach by Joan Anderson
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A Walk on the Beach

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A Walk on the Beach by Joan Anderson
Paperback $16.00
Apr 05, 2005 | ISBN 9780767914758

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    Apr 05, 2005 | ISBN 9780767914758

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  • Dec 18, 2007 | ISBN 9780307418784

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“In A Year by the Sea and An Unfinished Marriage, Anderson shared her account of taking a break from her marriage and spending a year of solitude at the beach. Now, she introduces the inspiring woman she befriended during that time: Joan Erikson, wife of psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. After a chance meeting in their Cape Cod town, the women found their stories–one woman was purposefully apart from her husband; the other was adjusting to her husband’s deteriorating health and imminent death–resonated significantly. Erikson’s enthusiasm for life prompted Anderson to re-evaluate her own marriage and her role as she aged through the life stages that were the subject of Erikson’s published writing, coauthored with her famous husband. Erikson reminded Anderson of the importance of continuing to learn, grow, change and, most notably, play as one ages, to be surprised by life and where it leads. She explained, ‘[A]s long as we are alive, we must keep transforming ourselves.’ Through the death of Erikson’s husband and the return of Anderson’s, readers see the women cheer each other’s efforts to view the world with a fresh eye each day. While Anderson’s experiences may ring familiar to readers of her earlier works, this is much more Erikson’s story and philosophy, and for readers, every encounter with her is as much a treat as it was for Anderson, who wrote of her friend, ‘it was [she] who made me new, or at least [she] pushed me toward the brink.'”
–Publishers Weekly

“Shortly after deciding to spend a year apart from her husband, Anderson met Joan Erikson, wife of pioneering psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, on a foggy beach on Cape Cod. The two women were at different points in their lives but struck up a friendship that helped sustain them through the challenges they faced: marital uncertainty for Anderson; the decline and imminent death of a beloved spouse for Erikson. Despite her grim prospects and advancing age, Erikson is full of life and energy and fond memories that set Anderson to wondering about the elements of marriage and friendship. Over the course of the year and for years after, the women sustain and inspire each other. After Erik’s death, Joan completes their work on the stages of life. And Anderson, author of A Year by the Sea (1999) and An Unfinished Marriage (2002), finds the courage to accept changes in her own life, insights that she brings to this third book on renewal at midlife.” –Booklist

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