The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics, Second Edition

University of Chicago Press
27
Free sample

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 so-called “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 from 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 to understanding our own suffering.
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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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Oct 18, 2013
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Pages
260
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ISBN
9780226067360
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Language
English
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Genres
Health & Fitness / Diseases / General
Medical / Ethics
Medical / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Breakthroughs in genetics present us with a promise and a predicament. The promise is that we will soon be able to treat and prevent a host of debilitating diseases. The predicament is that our newfound genetic knowledge may enable us to manipulate our nature—to enhance our genetic traits and those of our children. Although most people find at least some forms of genetic engineering disquieting, it is not easy to articulate why. What is wrong with re-engineering our nature? The Case against Perfection explores these and other moral quandaries connected with the quest to perfect ourselves and our children. Michael Sandel argues that the pursuit of perfection is flawed for reasons that go beyond safety and fairness. The drive to enhance human nature through genetic technologies is objectionable because it represents a bid for mastery and dominion that fails to appreciate the gifted character of human powers and achievements. Carrying us beyond familiar terms of political discourse, this book contends that the genetic revolution will change the way philosophers discuss ethics and will force spiritual questions back onto the political agenda. In order to grapple with the ethics of enhancement, we need to confront questions largely lost from view in the modern world. Since these questions verge on theology, modern philosophers and political theorists tend to shrink from them. But our new powers of biotechnology make these questions unavoidable. Addressing them is the task of this book, by one of America’s preeminent moral and political thinkers.
Anatole Broyard, long-time book critic, book review editor, and essayist for the New York Times, wants to be remembered. He will be, with this collection of irreverent, humorous essays he wrote concerning the ordeals of life and death—many of which were written during the battle with cancer that led to his death in 1990. 

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year 

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The issue of medical ethics, from thorny moral questions such as euthanasia and the morality of killing to political questions such as the fair distribution of health care resources, is rarely out of today's media. This area of ethics covers a wide range of issues, from mental health to reproductive medicine, as well as including management issues such as resource allocation, and has proven to hold enduring interest for the general public as well as the medical practitioner. This Very Short Introduction provides an invaluable tool with which to think about the ethical values that lie at the heart of medicine. This new edition explores the ethical reasoning we can use to approach medical ethics, introducing the most important 'tools' of ethical reasoning, and discussing how argument, thought experiments, and intuition can be combined in the consideration of medical ethics. Considering its practical application, Tony Hope and Michael Dunn explore how medical ethics supports health professionals through the growing use of ethics expertise in clinical settings. They also contemplate the increasingly important place of medical ethics in the wider social context, particularly in this age of globalization, not only in healthcare practice, but also policy, discussions in the media, pressure group and activism settings, and in legal judgments. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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