ABOUT THIS BOOK
In Healing Narratives, Gay Wilentz explores the relationship between culture and health. In close reading of works by five women writers - Toni Cade Bambara, Erna Broder, Leslie Marmon Silko, Keri Hulme, and Jo Sinclair-she traces the narrative and structural similarities of a main character moving form a state of mental or physical disease toward wellness through reconnection with her cultural traditions. Whether due to the history of diaspora, colonial oppression, or the subversion of traditional culture by modernity, illness can only be overcome when the cultural construction of disease is recognized and a link to the indigenous is restored. Wilentz's cross-cultural approach-African American, Jamaican, Native American, Maori, and Jewish stories-offers a rich context from which the basis of cultural illness can be examined.