Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth through Autobiographical Reflection

Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth through Autobiographical Reflection

Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth through Autobiographical Reflection

Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth through Autobiographical Reflection

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

"That's the story of my life!" we sometimes sigh. Often a sign of frustration with patterns that dog our affairs, it can also betray bemused affection for the peculiar course our life seems to take overall. In this book, we play with the implications of the familiar but fascinating metaphor behind such an expression: life as story. In effect, we use this metaphor as a lens to examine some of the unsung aspects of continuity and change in both our lives and our relationships. In this preface, though, we want to say something about the story of the book itself.

First, writing it has been a dialogical process, where "dialogue" means a conversation across differences. Each of us has brought to it particular questions and a particular lifestory. Though our stories--plus the thrusts of our respective previous writings--intersect in significant ways (making us compatible colleagues), they are none the less distinct. The "gospels" according to Kenyon and Randall are not identical. We do not agree on every point, nor have we tried to write with a seamless style or single voice. Far from seeing such differences as weaknesses, however, we view them as strengths. In a sense, you are getting three books in one. Besides the two books each of us thought to write on our own (and they will hover in the wings) is the one work that resulted from the countless conversations and delicate debates that we enjoyed--and required--to synthesize our visions.

If writing this book has been a dialogical process, no less should be reading it. "Dialogical" in the sense that we raise more issues than we resolve, issues you may find yourself pondering for some time to come. Thus, we have sprinkled the book with numerous practical questions which, considered on your own or with others, can help you relate our key concepts . . .

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