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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On becoming the brother of all who suffer
This is an extremely moving book on what it means to have a serious illness, such as cancer, and on why our coming to grips with this requires telling our story to others.

When we are struck by an illness like cancer, our sense of having a meaningful past, present, and future is often severely damaged. Before cancer, if someone had asked us to tell our life...
Published on February 15, 2009 by Donald E. Bartell

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Too Academic
While I enjoyed much of what was written, felt the overall approach was too academically oriented and detached. Wish more emotion and personal stories were featured
Published on January 21, 2013 by Stuart


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On becoming the brother of all who suffer, February 15, 2009
This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
This is an extremely moving book on what it means to have a serious illness, such as cancer, and on why our coming to grips with this requires telling our story to others.

When we are struck by an illness like cancer, our sense of having a meaningful past, present, and future is often severely damaged. Before cancer, if someone had asked us to tell our life story, we would have told it with a certain belief that the past led rationally to where we are, and that our future will be a reasonable result of the same journey that we have been on since we were born. But with cancer, it's very difficult to make sense of the reasonableness of something that has just happened, in spite of the life we've led that was supposed to lead to a different present, and one that we thought would lead to our future dreams. Now, all of that is shattered, and the rest of our future will be uncertain.

In order to mend ourselves, we need to embark on a journey in which we tell our stories. Not once, but over and over. There are many versions of our stories. When we are giving medical history to a doctor or nurse, it's one kind of story, essentially focusing on the medical facts. When we tell a friend or loved one, personal details may be added. Over time, some pieces of the past become minimized in our stories, and other concerns need to be expanded upon. As we tell and retell our story, we resuture our broken selves, reintegrate our past selves with this new wounded present self, and make possible a new future self with new dreams. We become emotionally healthy, in spite of the physical ordeals we may still need to endure. We need to tell our stories for our sake, and we need to share them with others, for their sake.

In addition to telling our own story, we need to listen to the stories of others, so that we can gain in perspective and wisdom. We are enriched by hearing about the paths that others have trod in coping with cancer. And in the process, for those who are ill, as well as for those who listen, life can once more be enchanting.

One of the most poignant quotes in the book is by Albert Schweitzer:

"Whoever among us has learned through personal experience what pain and anxiety really are must help to ensure that those out there who are in physical need obtain the same help that once came to him. He no longer belongs to himself alone; he has become the brother of all who suffer." He has joined the "brotherhood of those who bear the mark of pain."
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Is A Group Grope, July 13, 2000
This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
Frank's novel does a masterful job in identifying the "voice" we all need in the battle with life threatnening illness. Embracing and affirming the "whole person" through their storytelling goes far in overcoming the modernist approach in treating the illness without the person. Recognizing the struggle as an opportunity for journey also sounds the call to help others currently in the trenches to bring about healing. This is a beautiful book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Listening to the suffering, April 3, 2008
This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
Don't we all feel uncomfortable when trying to sustain a supportive relationship with someone suffering with a long-term illness? This book gives a philosophical framework for the mindset of someone in that situation. Initially it was rather heavy into social theory, but once you've worked through that part, you get some great food for thought. I've recommended it to folks in pastoral care and psychology.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Find Your Story, March 22, 2009
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Ed Gurowitz (Incline Village, NV USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
Frank's book is a classic work on the stories that organize our lives. While he uses illness narratives as his case in point, the application of his work is much broader, from looking at how we have, consciously or unconsciously, set our lives up to work all the way out to looking at cosmology and spirituality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Too Academic, January 21, 2013
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This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
While I enjoyed much of what was written, felt the overall approach was too academically oriented and detached. Wish more emotion and personal stories were featured
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Grounding for Storytelling Advocates, July 6, 2013
This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
This book underscores an enduring truth: people who have experienced illness or disease (or trauma or adversity of any form) frequently are urged to speak their stories either for healing, renewed sense of self or as a form of advocacy and agent of change. Frank's definition of "the communicative body" and characterization of the wounded storyteller as "witness" with a moral responsibility will feel familiar to anyone who has felt the similar drive to narrate their experiences for the benefit of self or other. He makes theoretical concepts accessible and offers hope and inspiration to anyone exploring the importance of sharing their personal experience of their body.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stories about stories, March 4, 2012
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This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
A great entry in the study of illness narratives from a postmodern perspective. I'll never forget concepts like "narrative wreckage" and the "remission society." I think this book will inform my work with very ill patients. Gets a little too philosophical for my tastes at times (and experience distant), particularly when turning to narratives and ethics, but this didn't detract from an overall great book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great resource, March 10, 2008
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This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
The wounded storyteller gets to the heart of expressing one's voice in a case of illness.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, August 2, 2014
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This review is from: The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Paperback)
Horrible.
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The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics
The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics by Arthur W. Frank (Paperback - May 15, 1997)
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