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    By Christine Downing

    Christine Downing explores the psychology of women and the continual creation and alteration of gender identity, critiquing the work of Jung and Freud in this area and offering her own perspective on the rites of passage that are characteristic of a woman's life. Downing celebrates the gains and achievements of women, psychologically speaking, as they have been recovered, reclaimed and repossessed by women over the past several decades through a fascinating interweaving of the intellectual and the personal, the conceptual and the poetic, the mythological and the psychological. This exploration of a poetics of gender is as much for men as for women; it gives attention-from a feminine perspective, to be sure-to the mystery of the human and the humane.