Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth Through Autobiographical Reflection

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 191 pages
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This is a new and important contribution to the explosion of contemporary interest in life as story and lifestories. Written in a lively and readable manner, the book explores theoretical, practical, ethical, and personal aspects of this fascinating topic area. It invites the reader, whether professional or general, to realize the potential to restory his or her own life and to coauthor others' lives in a positive way.

This book is a refreshingly readable blend of practical insight and academic analysis concerning the familiar, but fascinating metaphor: the story of my life. It offers an engaging perspective on the aesthetic dimensions of composing (or storying) our lives. Woven around numerous entailments of the life-as-story metaphor, like plot, character, theme, point of view, and setting, it introduces a variety of novel concepts, such as coauthoring, biographical coaching, biographical aging, narrative environment, larger stories, radical restorying, and storying style in order to probe the complex hermeneutical and ethical issues surrounding the storytelling/storylistening exchange that is integral to therapeutic care, qualitative research, and, indeed, everyday life.

With a comprehensive bibliography on the narrative approach in the human sciences, plus numerous examples that illustrate the enticing theoretical perspective at the book's core, this work constitutes a valuable resource for anyone curious about the dynamics of continuity and change-or restorying-in both their own and other's lives. It appeals to a broad range of readers from social workers to gerontologists, from psychotherapists to memory theorists, from spiritual directors to health care providers, and from professional philosophers to individuals involved in self-exploration.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Understanding the Story Metaphor Theoretical Issues
15
The Stories of Our Lives
31
The Storying of Our Lives
61
The Restorying of Our Lives
99
Storytelling and Storylistening Ethical Issues1
143
The Journey of the Story and the Story of the Journey
161
References
171
Index
185
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About the author (1997)

GARY M. KENYON is Director of Gerontology, St. Thomas University.

WILLIAM L. RANDALL is Research Associate to the Chair in Gerontology, St. Thomas University.

Both professors have taught and published extensively in the area of personal development.

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