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.