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Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing$
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Cheryl Mattingly and Linda Garro

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520218246

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520218246.001.0001

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With Life in One's Lap

With Life in One's Lap

The Story of an Eye/I (or Two)

(p.212) Nine With Life in One's Lap
Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing

Cheryl Mattingly

Linda C. Garro

University of California Press

This chapter interweaves autobiography with material from the author's ethnographic research in order to examine the complicated relationship between illness narratives, illness experience, and personal identity. The author uses the stories to comment about the surprises of illness and how it speaks to a person's sense of self and to raise a series of critical questions about narrative theory. It also critiques the predominance of the “I” in many autobiographical and life story accounts of illness.

Keywords:   autobiography, ethnographic research, illness narratives, illness experience, personal identity, sense of self, narrative theory

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