Powder Dreams: A Jungian Novel by David Ward-Nanney
"A fascinating window into what a classical analysis may be like from a patient's point of view... I thoroughly enjoyed reading Powder Dreams."
Journal of Analytical Psychology
"What I found, long before Ward-Nanney's first person protagonist Bo Grayson goes into therapy, was a book that I couldn't put down. Internal struggles are everywhere, rife with conflicts we can relate to and others that amaze, all woven together with Ward-Nanney's instinctual sense for storytelling."
Mr. Analysand blog at Psychology Today
About the Jungian aspects of Powder Dreams
A chance bookstore encounter leads Bo Grayson, the narrator of Powder Dreams, to a Jungian analyst, Dr. Attfield. He begins therapy wanting to rid himself of a persistent and haunting depression but soon finds the mixture of psychology and life exhilarating:
“For Jung, the clash of the anima with real women was absolutely essential to growing up, to me becoming my own person. Jung was all for engaging the psychic contents with the real world. The mixture was heady.”
Bo’s Jungian analysis is the main narrative device of Powder Dreams, but it is also the very fabric of the story. He learns to recognize the archetypes of the shadow, the persona, and the anima. Bo also comes face-to-face with the dominant players of his unique archetypal cauldron: the puer aeternus and the dark feminine. External events fire the process as David Ward-Nanney, the author, explains: “My goal was to match the psychic turmoil, the inner mental pressures with equally conflicting outer pressures.”
David Weiss, the Mr. Analysand blogger for Psychology Today, interviewed the author about his creative process and its ties to Jungian psychology. The full interview may be found here.
Bo also learns to use dream analysis as a tool to sift through the conflicting forces that shape and propel his life. Towards the end of the novel he encounters the Collective Unconscious in all its power and terror.
Like Hansel following his pebbles back home, Bo recalls years of classic psychology and self-help works, including M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled, Rollo May's Love and Will, George E. Vaillant's Adaptation to Life, and Robert Bly's Iron John. Once involved in the analysis, Bo delves into The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Marie Louise von Franz's Puer Aeternus, Rollo May's The Cry For Myth, June Singer's Boundaries of the Soul, and Murray Stein's Jung's Map of the Soul.
Warren Colman wrote a review of Powder Dreams in the Journal of Analytical Psychology. The full book review may be found here.
The author often writes about Jung in literature at his blog, Nanney Land. His contact information may be found there, too, and he is always interested to hear how readers find the book.