On the Demands of Truthfulness in Writing Personal Loss Narratives

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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


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)