Narrative and Lifewriting

Autobiography is a privileged genre where the reflexivity of human storytelling is foregrounded.  Autobiography is not only a good place to observe how art follows life and life art, but also a vehicle to reflect on the discovery and construction processes… of science and knowledge in general, including the human sciences and the cultural products studied under the rubric of the humanities (Fischer, pp. 82-83).

Fischer, M. M. J. (1994). Autobiographical voices (1,2,3) and mosaic memory: Experimental sondages in the (post)modern world. In K. Ashley & L. Gilmore & G. Peters (Eds.), Autobiography and postmodernism (pp. 79-129). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts.

Theory: General

Horner, W. B. (1996). Life writing. New York: Prentice Hall.

Romano, T. (1995). Writing with passion: Life stories, multiple genres. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.

Tierney, W. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (1997). Representation and the text: Re-framing the narrative voice. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Zuss, M. (1999). Subject present: Life-writing and strategies of representation. New York: P. Lang.

Personal Essays

Horner, W.B. (1996). The essay: Reflecting on the world. In Life writing (pp. 275-278). New York: Prentice Hall.

Krieger, S. (1991). Social science and the self: Personal essays as an art form. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.


Denzin, N. K. (1989). Interpretive biography. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Elms, A.C. (1994). Uncovering lives: The uneasy alliance of biography and psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gubrium, J. F., & Holstein, J. A. (1995). Biographical work and new ethnography. In R. Josselson & A. Lieblich (Eds.), Interpreting experience: The narrative study of lives (pp. 45-58). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Heilbrun, C.G. (1988). Writing a woman’s life. New York: Norton.

Horner, W.B. (1996e). Biography: Writing a life. In Life writing (pp. 213-216). New York: Prentice Hall.

Ludwig, A.M. (1997). How do we know who we are? A biography of the self. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ochberg, R. L. (1994). Life stories and storied lives. In A. Lieblich & R.Josselson (Eds.), Exploring identity and gender: The narrative study of lives (pp. 113-144). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Patai, D. (1988). Introduction: Constructing a self. In Brazilian women speak: Contemporary life stories (pp. 1-35). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Personal Narratives Group (Eds.) (1989). Interpreting women’s lives: Feminist theory and personal narratives. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Reinharz, S. (1994). Feminist biography: The pains, the joys, the dilemmas. In A. Lieblich & R.Josselson (Eds.), Exploring identity and gender: The narrative study of lives (pp. 37-82). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Sizoo, E. (Ed.) (1997a). Women’s lifeworlds: Women’s narratives on shaping their realities. New York: Routledge.

Smith, L. M. (1998). Biographical method. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Strategies of qualitative inquiry (pp. 184-224). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Ashley, K., Gilmore, L., & Peters, G. (Eds.) (1994). Autobiography and postmodernism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts.

Atkinson, R. (1995). The gift of stories: Practical and spiritual applications of autobiography, life stories, and personal mythology. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Conway, J.K. (1998). When memory speaks: Reflections on autobiography. New York: Knopf.

Eakin, P.J. & Halls, R.N. (1999). How our lives become stories: Making selves. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Folkenflik, R. (Ed.) (1993). The culture of autobiography: Constructions of self-representation. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Gergen, M. M., & Gergen, K. J. (1993). Narratives of the gendered body in popular autobiography. The Narrative Study of Lives, 1, 191-218.

Hampl, P. (1999). I could tell you stories: Sojourns in the land of memory. New York: Norton.

Olney, J. (1999). Memory and narrative: The weave of life-writing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ray, R. E. (1999). Beyond nostalgia: Aging and life-story writing. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.

Smith, S. & Watson, J. (Eds.) (1998). Women, autobiography, theory: A reader. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Tal, K. (1996). Worlds of hurt: Reading the literatures of trauma. New York: Cambridge University Press.