Illness as Narrative

“Ann Jurecic opens a door. The light that spills through that newly opened door illuminates not just illness and/as narrative but why we read, why we write, and what stories are for. Jurecic nails what is at stake here—truth, intersubjectivity, relation, mortality, and freedom. What a voice. What a vision. What a challenge this book is to literary criticism, to medical practice, to all of us who bleed and yet live.”

—Rita Charon, Columbia University

“There is no greater term of scholarly disparagement than ‘therapeutic.’ Jurecic’s eloquent defense of therapeutic literature is as necessary and humane as the misunderstood illness narrative itself. Promoting mindful listening and sympathetic understanding, this gutsy and levelheaded book performs its own reparative work, restoring care and concern, recognition and response, attention and acknowledgement, healing and hope to our critical lexicon.”

—Diana Fuss, Princeton University


“lllness as Narrative is an innovative work that provides an exemplary model of productive ways to read, interpret, and (by extension) teach literature (autobiography, essays, cultural analyses, fiction, poetry, and blogs) by and about real people with real diseases and disabilities.”

—Lynn Z. Bloom, University of Connecticut

“Ann Jurecic’s readings of Sontag, Fadiman, Sedgwick, and Latour carve new pathways between literary theory and illness narratives. Illness as Narrative will refresh your vision, draw you to new texts, and help you teach.”

—Maura Spiegel, coauthor of The Grim Reader: Writings on Death, Dying, and Living On