Profile for Isabelle > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Isabelle
Top Reviewer Ranking: 130,123
Helpful Votes: 38

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Isabelle

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
Narrative Research: Reading, Analysis, and Interpretation (Applied Social Research Methods)
Narrative Research: Reading, Analysis, and Interpretation (Applied Social Research Methods)
by Amia Lieblich
Edition: Paperback
Price: 47.21

4.0 out of 5 stars The Skill of Narrative Research, 6 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in acquiring skills in the narrative study of lives. It is not a slick, easy step-by-step guide. Rather it emphasises the need for sensitivity, self-awareness, reflexive monitoring and meticulous application on the part of the researcher.
Four models for narrative research are presented: holistic-content, holistic-form, categorical-content and categorical- form. Helpful instructions on the techniques and procedures for each method are provided. The authors hold the theoretical perspective that life stories provide us with access to the narrator's identity and personality. Transcripts of two life story interviews provide readers with the opportunity to perform their own interpretations and analysis and compare their results with those of the authors. Live stories, we are reminded, are usually complex, contradictory, unpredicable and unfinished, thus open to criticism and alternative explanations.


Reconstructing Illness: Studies in Pathography
Reconstructing Illness: Studies in Pathography
by Anne Hunsaker Hawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review of Illness Narratives, 20 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In this book Anne Hawkins reviews and classifies a vast range of pathograpies, published in the later part of the 20th Century. She explores this genre of writing which only emerged during this period. These narratives, which have shown a steady increase in publication, reflect the changing assumptions, attitudes and beliefs about illness and its treatment over the years in a changing American society.
Pathographies are described as a form of autobiography or biography concerned with their writers' personal experience of serious illness and focus on its inner emotional components as the authors try to interpret and give coherence and meaning to their experience. Out of the isolation, chaos and suffering the writer may build a narrative bridge back into the society of other human beings, often with healing effect. Also, these stories help to ensure the voice of the patient is heard and hopefully listened to.
I would recommend this book especially to anyone interested in the narrative theory or in medical sociology. Unfortunately it was published in 1999 and only covers works published before the end of the 20th Century.


Intensive Care
Intensive Care
by Mary-Lou Weisman
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Unconditional Love, 6 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Intensive Care (Hardcover)
This beautifully written book is about a special kind of love, an unconditional love, which Mary-Lou and her family learn to bestow on Peter, their second son, diagnised aged two years with muscular dystrophy. He was doomed to experience progressive muscle wasting and a short life span. However this is not just the story of a family's grief.
It is about two very human, distraught parents who rage, row then reconcile and unite in love. It is about a would-be-normal child who constantly struggles against a handicapped identity. He is fun-loving, perceptive and lovable but also very demanding and profoundly needy.
With sensitivity and humour Mary-Lou tells of her feelings of guilt, her dilemmas and her constant battles to protect Peter from hurt and to give him the quality of life he deserves. With tremendous energy and creativity the family unite to make this short life special and as normal and as full of fun as possible.
This is a powerful and inspiring book.


The Tell-Tale Brain: Unlocking the Mystery of Human Nature
The Tell-Tale Brain: Unlocking the Mystery of Human Nature
by V. S. Ramachandran
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mysteries of the Human Mind, 1 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
V.S.Ramachandran takes his readers on a fascinating guided tour around the human brain. He calms that it is impossible to comprehend it complexities without first understanding how it evolved and how our unique human traits were gradually acquired. He presents absorbing case studies of patients with rare neurological conditions. His tireless observations and experiments with brain damaged patients allow him to create hypotheses and theories regarding the workings of the human mind. Brain imaging techniques are used to explore and test specific hypotheses and in the absence of concrete, empirical evidence he uses intuitive hunches to bridge any factual gaps in his theories.
Ramachandran leaves no stone unturned as he explores such subjects as language evolution, the laws of aesthetics, the riddle of autism, human consciousness and the sense of self.
A thought- provoking read which I would recommend to anyone interested in the mysteries of the human brain.


When I Die: Lessons from the Death Zone
When I Die: Lessons from the Death Zone
by Philip Gould
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Guide Through Death Zone, 11 Jun 2012
Fastidious attention has gone into the composition of this skilfully presented book. It recounts Philip Gould's fight for life against an invading oesophageal cancer. His message was that the power of the human spirit has the capacity to overcome the hurdles of fear and pain. Sadly he lost his battle and was confronted with a shockingly short life expectation. Inspired by a new sense of purpose he reasoned that by sharing his experiences of "Death Zone" he could help to transform people's perceptions of death and dying. This intense experience, felt at many levels, took him to a different state of being, to a new level of intimacy with his family and to a sense of fulfilment and peace.
Unlike the average patient, Philip Gould, a political strategist with sharp intellect, travelled in a privileged position as one of the political elite. He could chose his treatment plan, moving between private and NHS care and selecting top flight practitioners. His last hours were spent in the Marsden in a private room with his family around him listening to Gregorian chants. An array of oncology specialists were on call.
This was his last big project, his "game plan on the matter of his death and dying" and he threw all his energy into it. His family were given papers and instructions about the completion of his book and his funeral ("he wanted the church to be packed") was organised. His photograph taken on his burial cite at Highgate Cemetery was placed in the Times newspaper. His last great strategy was magnificently managed and executed in splendid style.


Intoxicated by My Illness
Intoxicated by My Illness
by Broyard
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.67

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Space Between Life and Death", 25 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Aged 28, Antole Broyard witnessed his father's slow, painful death from cancer. His powerful account of this shocking and harrowing experience is given with profound sensitivity. Apparently the experience influenced his future work as a literary critic and essayist. The writings in this book reflect his fascinatiion with the subject of life, illness and death.
Faced with his own diagnosis of prostate cancer, aged 69, he felt energised with a new personal ability to tackle the subject which had occupied his thoughts over the years. His work is devoid of shallow sentimentality, self pity or of the restraints of conventionality. He is opinionated, shrewd and provacative. His dry humour and independence of spirit give a vibrancy to this collections of his writings.
His wife in an epilogue writes, "he was alive, as he had hoped when he died."
A forthright and thought-provoking book.


Disrupted Lives: How People Create Meaning in a Chaotic World
Disrupted Lives: How People Create Meaning in a Chaotic World
by Gay Becker
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars The strong influence of culture on our sense of self, 20 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Gay Becker claims that the way people in US society cope with the more serious disruptions in their lives are strongly influenced by the normalising ideologies, assumptions and discourses of that culture. By examining the narratives of hundreds of people who have experienced such disruptions (e.g. through infertility, chronic illness or stroke) she found that people make use of cultural definitions of normalcy as they attempt to make sense of their disrupted lives and restore a sense of continuity and coherence. Their narratives revealed both the pain they experienced by being made to feel "different" and their strivings to live up to social expectations and thus present themselves as "normal". This work is recommended as a valuable contribution to medical anthropology.
Personally, I felt that the selected case studies and the selected quotes used succeeded too neatly in filling the required slots to back up the author's worldview. Her findings and conclusions seemed to lack any critique.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2014 5:53 PM BST


And There Was Light: The Autobiography of a Blind Hero in the French Resistance (Floris classics)
And There Was Light: The Autobiography of a Blind Hero in the French Resistance (Floris classics)
by Jacques Lusseyran
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary and inspiring story, 20 Feb 2012
Despite experiencing a devastating accident, leading to blindness when aged eight, the author wasted no time in self sympathy. For him sight was replaced by "an abundance of gifts"; enhanced senses and an incredible inner "memory screen" which could be scrolled through and "made room for everything". As a child, Jacques made full use of those assets enjoying a full, happy childhood. He travelled life's journey along the banks of "a stream of light and joy"
During his sixteenth year his native France came under German Occupation and his ambitions to continue his advanced studies were dashed by an order from the Vichy Government. Although intellectually gifted, he was rejected on grounds of his blindness. This was a shattering blow but courageously he rechannelled his energies into the hazardous task of leadership of a Youth Resistance movement. This led to betrayal and the horrific experience of a concentration camp.
Undaunted he travelled on. His was a triumpbant and inspiring story. "Joy" he informs us, "does not come from outside - it is within us"


Life Stories: The Creation of Coherence (Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics)
Life Stories: The Creation of Coherence (Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics)
by Charlotte Linde
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the links between language and social practice, 8 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Charlotte Linde describes the life story as a discontinuous discourse unit told over time on many occasions and subject to revision and change. For the author, life story accounts offer rich and important material for the study of the close link between linguistic structure and social processes. She offers evidence of the central need for coherence within the life story. Not only is the establishment of a chain of causality essential to make the account acceptable to the listener. We also experience a personal need for coherence within our life story.
She notes that as we offer our life stories we are enabled to be reflexive, to distance ourselves from the self in the narrative and thus to observe and safely critise our own behaviour.
An illuminating account for those interested in this area of study.


Healing Dramas and Clinical Plots: The Narrative Structure of Experience (Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology)
Healing Dramas and Clinical Plots: The Narrative Structure of Experience (Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology)
by Cheryl Mattingly
Edition: Paperback
Price: 20.80

4.0 out of 5 stars The role of narrative in chronic illness, 19 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What is the role of narrative during the occupational therapist's treatment of severely disabled patients within a hospital setting? Cheryl Mattingly explores this and the relation between narrative and the human experience of life changing chronic illlness in this ethnographic study. Using case studies, she traces how narratives are created in the therapeutic practice.
Initially the therapist encounters her patient, a broken self with future hopes and plans destroyed. From a now limited range of options a new desired future is sought after. Together they navigate their uncertain journey in this unfolding drama. The patient becomes the human actor in a search for healing and a new self.
This informative book draws on wide range of perspectives to develop a narrative theory of social action and experience.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3