Anna Fels is a practicing psychiatrist who has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, The Harvard Business Review, The Nation, Self, and, most recently, the Science Times section of the New York Times. A member of the faculty of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Fels lives with her husband and two children in New York City.
Anna Fels, a practicing psychiatrist in New York City, has arrived to wrestle with the Angel. In Necessary Dreams, she mixes the empirical findings of social science, her own observations from 20 years of clinical work, anecdote, and cultural analysis to question why and how ambition is leached out of American women's lives. She uncovers a quiet crisis in the inner lives of the kind of educated, talented women who are her patients and her peers. Whether you believe women are as embattled as Fels does, her book reframes the struggle for equality in a powerful way. She goes beyond debates over employment discrimination, harassment, and the problems of working mothers. What she's after are the buried psychological debilities that afflict women in their working lives outside their homes: the ways in which, she maintains, they feel compelled in a thousand different ways to take themselves out of the picture.