Title

On the Demands of Truthfulness in Writing Personal Loss Narratives

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1996

Keywords

Autoethnography, Loss, Grief, Honesty, Truth, Truthfulness, Disclosure, Dignity, Arts and Humanities, Communication, Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies, Social History, Social Psychology and Interaction, Sociology

Abstract

There's no doubt that [your] descriptions evoke detailed images, but I think it's the honesty of that voice that makes the reader listen in the first place. and I also think that it's an honesty of content and not just of tone, (personal letter from Mika Uematsu, July 5, 1995) He wrote me a wonderful letter… The crux of what he said was that I should never be afraid of appearing angry, small-minded, obtuse, mean, immoral, amoral or calculating. “Take no care for your dignity,” he said, and I have followed his advice scrupulously ever since. (From Mary Karr, author of The Liar's Club, writing about a letter from Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy's Life, quoted in Basbanes, 1995)