The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics

The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics

Paperback

By (author) Arthur W. Frank

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  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Paperback | 260 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 216mm x 20mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 20 September 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 022600497X
  • ISBN 13: 9780226004976
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Sales rank: 136,400

Product description

Since it was first published in 1995, "The Wounded Storyteller" has occupied a unique place in the body of work on illness. Both the collective portrait of a "remission society" of those who suffer from some type of illness or disability and a cogent analysis of their stories within a larger framework of narrative theory, Arthur W. Frank's book has reached a large and diverse readership, including the ill, medical professionals, and scholars of literary theory. Drawing on the work of authors such as Oliver Sacks, Anatole Broyard, Norman Cousins, and Audre Lorde, as well as the people he met during the years he spent among different illness groups, Frank recounts a stirring collection of illness stories, ranging from the well-known - Gilda Radner's battle with ovarian cancer - to the private testimonials of people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and disabilities. Their stories are more than accounts of personal suffering: they abound with moral choices and point to a social ethic. In this new edition Frank adds a preface describing the personal and cultural times when the first edition was written. His new afterword extends the book's argument significantly, writing about storytelling and experience, other modes of illness narration, and a version of hope that is both realistic and aspirational. Reflecting on both his own life during the creation of the first edition and the conclusions of the book itself, Frank reminds us of the power of storytelling as way of understanding our own suffering.

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Author information

Arthur W. Frank is professor of sociology at the University of Calgary and the author of At the Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness; Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology; and The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine, and How to Live, the latter two also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Review quote

"A classic book. Illness touches us all--patients, providers, family, friends--and Arthur W. Frank shows how illness extends beyond bodies to shape the stories (personal and cultural) that we almost inevitably construct to explain and to contain it. The stories in turn often reshape the experience of illness. "The Wounded Storyteller "is thus an indispensable guide to the oddly familiar but alien territory we inhabit when we enter what Susan Sontag called 'the kingdom of the ill.' Now, with an extended new preface and afterword, a classic-plus."--David B. Morris "author of "The Culture of Pain" "