Painter, musician, bibliophile...
There is narcissism with a small "n" and there is narcissism with a capital "N" as in "Narcissistic Personality Disorder" or NPD. Our culture is one becoming ever more narcissistic in the first sense of the word. But this book is about something far more serious:
"The word narcissism in its most fundamental sense means a tendency to self-worship. For the narcissist, his excessive self-absorption is a protection against unconscious but powerful feelings of inadequacy. Seduced by the narcissist's camouflage of outer charm or confidence, you are eventually drawn into the nightmare side of this relationship. By the time you realize that something is wrong, the cumulative effects can range from bruised self-esteem to severe depression." Eleanor Payson
You're a very lucky creature if you have never been involved with someone who has NPD characteristics. But if you have, Eleanor Payson offers much to help you here. Catherine Bond Doyle's narration imbues the author's work with an additional feeling of compassion.
Updating the Greek myth of Narcissus, Payson uses the metaphor of "The Wizard of Oz," hence the title. In dealing with a narcissist, there is only one road, and that is the road that leads to them.
She introduces the book with a discussion of NPD, including variations on its definition and diagnosis, and a discussion of overt and covert types. After establishing a broad foundation, she goes on to discuss various relationships, from parent-child dynamics to narcissists in professional and social life. The section on "love" relationships --- and I use that word advisedly in this context --- is particularly enlightening.
May you find healing, comfort, and peace as you bid the Yellow Brick Road farewell.