Books: Shrinking

AUGUST by Judith Rossner

Houghton Mifflin; 376 pages; $15.95

In her new novel, Judith Rossner (Looking for Mr. Goodbar) returns to a favorite theme: the frantic search for emotional connection. The New York City landscape of August is littered with suicides, failed marriages, estranged children and an assortment of ambivalent sexual identities. The one successful relationship is built between two women: Dawn Henley, 18 at the outset, an orphaned college student, and Dr. Lulu Shinefeld, her fortyish psychoanalyst. In classic Freudian fashion, the patient seeks a surrogate parent. The analyst, a divorcee and failed mother, comes to view her patient as a surrogate...

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