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This article by Nicole Plett was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on

October 20, 1999. All rights reserved.

Following the Dream Of Fiction Writing

It’s never too late to follow a dream. At age 59,

Richard Geha, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice

in North Brunswick, celebrates the publication of his first collection

of short stories with a reading and book signing at Borders Books

on Wednesday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m.

Geha, who lives in Tewksbury and Princeton with his wife, Danielle,

has taught psychology at the graduate level at Rutgers and psychoanalysis

at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York


His fiction debut is a collection of 20 short stories gathered under

the title, "Primal Scenes: Stories of Radical Witness," published

by Creative Arts Book Company of California. Not for the faint-hearted,

these are dark, surrealist fantasies that are rife with violence,

mental anguish, and psychic disintegration. Geha counts Edgar Allan

Poe, Jorge Luis Borges, and William Faulkner among the writers who

have influenced him most.

"Primal scenes" is a Freudian term used to depict a child’s

exposure to adult sexual passion, usually interpreted as acts of violence.

Geha says he chose it to evoke "the terror that underlies all

our lives." Yet he notes that he values the term more for its

"deeper resonance with religion and mythology" than for its

connection to Freud.

Writing is a return, of sorts, for Geha. His first master’s degree

was in English literature at University of Missouri. He went on to

study at the Freud Institute in London and earned his PhD at the New


"Writing is hard work for me," says Geha, who sees patients

for 60 hours a week. He rises at 4:30 a.m., he says, to work on his


Does he harvest his story ideas from his patients? "A number of

my patients have bought the book. And though they might recognize

some themes, it’s far removed from any kind of case history,"

he says. "When things go into this kind of fiction furnace, they

come out transmogrified. You wouldn’t recognize the sources here if

they were put in front of your face."

Richard Geha, Borders Books, Nassau Park, 609-514-0040.

Free. Wednesday, October 27, 7:30 p.m.

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Bryant Staffing is hosting an art contest for students

in grades K through 12, as well as college students residing in Central

New Jersey. Deadline for entries is October 25. Call 609-605-1471.

Jewish Community Center of the Delaware Valley is seeking

adult basketball players for its fitness and sports department. Call

Jeff Hirschman at 609-883-9550.

Ocean Spray Cranberries. is sponsoring an amateur photo

contest to capture the beauty of America’s cranberry harvest. Three

age categories. Deadline is November 30. Ocean Spray Harvest Photo

Contest, 2405 Grand Boulevard, Suite 700, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts invites crafters to exhibit

and sell at its upcoming craft shows held at the Cape May Convention

Center. Cost per space ranges from $60 to $150. For application, call

609-884-5404, extension 180.

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Volunteer Ops

Salvation Army needs holiday bell ringers to collect donations

from caring shoppers. Call 877-NJS-ARMY.

Catholic Charities needs donations, food, and volunteers

for its new emergency services facility at 16 Hanover Street, Trenton.

Call Joyce Campbell, 609-394-8879.

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