Stories accompany us through life from birth to death. But they do not merely entertain, inform, or distress us - they show us what counts as right or wrong and teach us who we are and who we can be. Though stories can connect individuals, they also can disconnect, creating boundaries between people and justifying violence. In "Letting Stories Breathe", Arthur W. Frank grapples with this fundamental aspect of our lives, offering both a theory of how stories shape us and a useful method for analyzing them. Frank's unique approach uses literary concepts to ask social scientific questions: how do stories make life better, and when do they endanger it?
Arthur W. Frank is professor of sociology at the University of Calgary and the author of At the Will of the Body; Reflections on Illness; The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics; and The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine, and How to Live, the latter two also published by the University of Chicago Press.