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The Wounded Storyteller


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About the Author

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.


"This is a bold and imaginative book which moves our thinking about narratives of illness in new directions."

-- "Sociology of Heath and Illness"

Arthur Frank's writings on illness and the body transcend the barriers of academic and professional disciplines, making them uniquely relevant to a wide variety of audiences: clinicians, ethicists, sociologists, scholars in the humanities and human sciences, those engaged in medical education, caregivers, and (always) the never-to-be-forgotten community of the ill.

-- "Hastings Center Report"
"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"
"Arthur W. Frank has changed the way we think about storytelling and health care. His work champions a point of view long neglected and too often thought to be medically irrelevant. His penetrating essays on the human need to make sense and meaning from illness have become 'required reading' for many of us. This new edition of The Wounded Storyteller is most welcome."--Larry R. Churchill "author of Healers: Extraordinary Clinicians at Work"
"Arthur W. Frank's second edition of The Wounded Storyteller provides instructions for use of this now-classic text in the study of illness narratives. At the remove of twenty years, the author sees that he was trying for not only an analytic study of illness narratives but also 'self-healing . . . to assure myself I wasn't crazy.' By recognizing that his own illness incorporated all three of his canonical narrative types and then by adding to his typology, Frank reveals the evolution of his frames of thought about illness. Perhaps health is a mirage and illness is a natural state of being. Perhaps getting old and sick is the blue book price for living mortal lives. Frank has helped us all not just to accept but to revere these givens of our human predicament."--Rita Charon "author of Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness"

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