Analysis and Exile: Boyhood, Loss, and the Lessons of Anna Freud

Hybrid book presentation by Vivian Heller and talk with Pamela Cooper-White


Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 19 h

Library of Psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum and via Zoom


Registration required: To participate on-site, please register below.

Analysis and Exile tells the story of Peter Heller, a Jewish boy growing up in Vienna before the Nazis change the landscape of Europe during World War Two. As a little boy of eight or nine years old, Peter is subject to pavor nocturnus – night terrors. He is treated for his nightmares at the Hietzing School, where he is one of Anna Freud’s first child patients. Such nightmares become a reality when the Nazis descend on Vienna in 1938 and Peter leaves his home country for a precarious new life in exile abroad.

Vivian Heller grew up hearing of her father’s connections with Sigmund and Anna Freud and their Viennese entourage, and in this book, she draws on a wealth of primary sources, including her father’s case history and his internment diary. In Analysis and Exile she brings Peter Heller’s unique past alive with consummate skill and sensitivity, imbuing this pivotal historical period with an uncanny sense of lived experience.


Vivian Heller received her Ph.D. in English Literature and Modern Studies from Yale University. She is the author of Joyce, Decadence, and Emancipation (University of Illinois Press) which won the Choice Book Award, and The City Beneath Us: Building the New York Subway. Her essays have appeared in New Observations, the Journal of Literature and Medicine, and The Georgetown Review; her short fiction has been published in Confrontation, Bomb, and Fence. She works at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University.

Pamela Cooper-White is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York and the author of Old and Dirty Gods: Religion, Antisemitism, and the Origins of Psychoanalysis.


Visit for more information and for reviews of Analysis and Exile. Attendees get a 20% discount with the code FMEVENT20 (valid until October 31, 2022).


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