False Self: The Life of Masud Khan

Author(s) : Linda Hopkins

False Self: The Life of Masud Khan

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This is the definitive biography of one of the most engaging figures of British psychoanalysis. M. Masud R. Khan (1924-1989) exposed through his candor and scandalous behavior the bigotry of his proponents turned detractors. Khan's subsequent downfall, which is powerfully narrated in this biography, offers interesting insights not only into Khan's psychic fragility but into the world of intrigues and deceptions pervasive in the psychoanalytic community of the time.

Winner of the 2007 Gradiva Award for the advancement of Psychoanalysis and the 2006 Goethe Award for Psychoanalytic scholarship.

Reviews and Endorsements

'This sensible, intelligent and scrupulously researched biography sets out to tell Masud Khan's story. It refrains from easy psychoanalytic interpretation and has such a light touch that we meet the author only in her quest for interviews and in her enthusiastic discovery of Khan's fascinating Work Books. Linda Hopkins is to be congratulated on evading both the outrage that a reader like myself feels, and also the adulation that Khan inspired in his lovers and acolytes. Instead she has simply recorded the story in a transparent voice that is clear as a bell and, in a way, sadly honest about the major fault lines in an influential personality. This is an important biography for its reference points are the relevance and standing of psychoanalysis in today's world, the crossroads between Western and Muslim culture, and, ultimately, the contemporary conflict between dramatic image and authentic life.'
- Bob Hinshelwood, Professor, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex

'If I were a snob, a liar, a drunk, a philanderer, an anti-Semite, a violent bully, a poseur and a menace to the vulnerable, I would want Linda Hopkins to write my biography. Masud Khan was all of these things. Hopkins has written the story of his life with the kind of generous forgiveness, insistent evenhandedness, patient understanding and restrained judgment one might hope for in a very good analyst of a certain kind, or a wise, exceptionally forbearing and insightful mother. She sees his life as a tragedy lived "on a scale grand enough to match his favorite characters: Shakespeare's King Lear and Dostoevsky's Prince Myshkin."'
- Amy Bloom, The New York Times Review of Books

'I didn't want False Self to end! I can't thank Linda Hopkins enough for the truth of the book, the detailed care, and the love of life that it reveals.'
- Michael Eigen, PhD, Author and analyst, New York City

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