Reconstruction of the Self and Illness Narrative

Zhen XU


Illness narrative is both used as an occasion to recollect one’s life, and as a lens through which new perceptions of that life is generated. My Year Off: Recovering Life After a Stroke (1998) is Robert McCrum’s first--personal accounts of illness, in which he made a claim for the self-change as the result of the stroke. This article focuses on the relations between the sense of self and illness. Through the textual analysis of his autobiography, this article tries to find how the stroke influences his sense of self and how McCrum regains the knowledge of self through telling stories of illness. Illness narrative provides an alternative way for him to access to personal experiences and find the meaning of the life.


Illness narrative; Autobiography; Sense of self; The stroke

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