Raines, Theron 1925-
RAINES, Theron 1925-
PERSONAL: Born September 26, 1925, in Pine Bluff, AR; son of Thomas Wade (a lawyer) and Hallie Lamar Cornwall (a housewife; maiden name, Kersh) Raines; married Joan Binder Korman, July 29, 1971; children: Keith B. Korman. Education: Attended University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Columbia College, B.A., 1948; Oxford University, B.A., 1950, M.A., 1955; Columbia University, M.A., 1951.
ADDRESSES: Home and offıce—Raines & Raines, 71 Park Ave., Suite 4A, New York, NY 10016-2507.
MEMBER: Society of Authors Representatives; Phi Beta Kappa.
AWARDS, HONORS: Kellett fellow, 1948-50.
The Singing: A Fable about What Makes Us Human (novel), Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 1988.
Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim (biography), Knopf (New York, NY), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Theron Raines, a partner in the literary agency of Raines & Raines, has not only represented authors such as James Dickey, Winston Groom, Raul Hilberg, Willie Morris, and Cynthia Cook, but has also penned two books of his own. Raines wrote the science-fiction novel The Singing: A Fabel about What Makes Us Human and the biography Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim. Raines' novel is about a group of aliens from Mars who crash their spaceship into the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The aliens' mission is to breed with a human to bolster life on Mars. The story is told from the perspective of the girl who bears the Martian's child.
Rising to the Light is Raines' biography of the controversial child psychologist, Bruno Bettelheim. As Bettelheim's agent, Raines wrote the biography to help clear the tarnished reputation of his long-time friend. For much of his life, Bettelheim was praised for his insight into troubled children. However, toward the end of his career, and following his death by suicide in 1990, Bettelheim was attacked for his unorthodox methods, including using physical discipline on the children under his care. Raines wrote the biography to reveal the extraordinary man behind the controversy. Booklist's Hazel Rochman described it as "a warm biography" that "tries to restore the controversial psychologist's celebratory status as a therapist, writer, and teacher."
In Rising to the Light Raines chronicles Bettelheim's life beginning with his wealthy beginnings in Vienna, Austria, and continuing on to his imprisonment in concentration camps at Duchau and Buchenwald and his successful career in the United States. Raines based the biography on taped personal interviews he conducted with Bettelheim from 1983 until his death. According to Edward Dolnick of the Washington Post, Raines generalizes much of the specific information readers seek. Dolnick explained that readers "yearn for voices but hear only paraphrases." However, not all reviewers agree. Rochman said of the Bettelheim controversy, "Whether it's [Bettelheim's] argument with Ann Frank's upbeat message or his claim that childhood autism is the mother's fault, this is sure to continue the passionate debate."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Clute, John, and Peter Nichols, The Encyclopedia ofScience Fiction, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.
Biography, spring, 2003, Emily Nussbaun, review of Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim, p. 349.
Booklist, August, 2002, Hazel Rochman, review of Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim, p. 1904.
CHOICE: Current Review for Academic Libraries, March, 2003, R. H. Balsam, review of Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim, p. 1266.
New York Times Book Review, November 24, 2002, Emily Nussbaum, "Defending Dr. B. Bruno Bettelheim Was a Complicated Man, but Not an Evil One, His Agent Insists," review of Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim, p. 16.
Publishers Weekly, April 1, 1988, Sybil Steinberg, review of The Singing: A Fable about What Makes Us Human, p. 73.
Washington Post (online), August 25, 2002, Edward Dolnick, review of Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim, p. BW15.
Random House of Canada Web site,http://www.randomhouse.ca/ (November 22, 2003), review of Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim.*