Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write Their Bodies (Literature and Medicine)

“Stories of Illness and Healing” is the first collection to place the voices of women experiencing illness alongside analytical writing from prominent scholars in the field of narrative medicine. The collection includes a variety of women’s illness narratives – poetry, essays, short fiction, short drama, analyses, and transcribed oral testimonies – as well as traditional analytic essays about themes and issues raised by the narratives. “Stories of Illness and Healing” bridges the artificial divide between women’s lives and scholarship in gender, health, and medicine. The authors of these narratives are diverse in age, ethnicity, family situation, sexual orientation, and economic status. They are doctors, patients, spouses, mothers, daughters, activists, writers, educators, and performers. The narratives serve to acknowledge that women’s illness experiences are more than their diseases, that they encompass their entire lives. The pages of this book echo with personal accounts of illness, diagnosis, and treatment. They reflect the social constructions of women’s bodies, their experiences of sexuality and reproduction, and their roles as professional and family caregivers. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, “Stories of Illness and Healing” draws the connection between women’s suffering and advocacy for women’s lives.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. A community of caring I am a teacher and I thought an empathetic person. I thought my own experiences and ability to self reflect and learn from others enabled me to be insightful, understanding and supportive. I was wrong. So many thoughts are never spoken. So many experiences are not shared. 

  2. Powerful Resource A Must-Read for Everyone Who Loves a Woman Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write Their Bodies edited by Sayantani DasGupta and Marsha Hurst is an anthology of stories, essays, and poems all exploring the ways we approach illness and use language to define the healing process, even when the “healing” ends in death. 

  3. A Must Read This is a rare and insightful collection of stories that immerse the reader in the often unspoken and unshared thoughts, feelings and experiences of women’s acute and chronic illness journeys.

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