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Telling Stories


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About the Author

Mary Jo Maynes is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Taking the Hard Road: Life Course and Class Identity in French and German Workers' Autobiographies of the Industrial Era and author or coeditor of several other books. Jennifer L. Pierce is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Gender Trials: Emotional Lives in Contemporary Law Firms and coeditor of two books. Barbara Laslett is Professor of Sociology Emerita at the University of Minnesota. She is the coeditor of several books, including Feminist Sociology: Life Histories of a Movement.


"This decade has witnessed the publication of several anthologies that focus on how to design and conduct oral history projects; introduce and illustrate new applications of oral history to geographical, historical, and social research; and discuss the application of new technologies to oral history methodology... In this new, important corollary to these works, the authors emphasize the research opportunities available through analysis of personal narratives: 'Read carefully, these sources provide unique insights into the connections between individual life trajectories and collective forces and institutions beyond the individual.' Telling Stories belongs in every oral history collection. Summing Up: Essential."-Choice, July 2009 "Each of these authors brings a wealth of insight and experience to this discussion of the distinctively illuminating arguments that can be drawn from personal narrative materials. Theoretically sophisticated and grounded in an intriguing array of empirical works, Telling Stories will be an indispensable resource for those interested in any variety of life-story research."-Marjorie DeVault, Syracuse University, author of Liberating Method: Feminism and Social Research "Telling Stories is an invaluable guide to making sense of personal narratives across two key disciplines: social science and history. This clear, thoughtful, and comprehensive guide to key issues and their interpretation-questions on agency, subjectivity, intersubjectivity, the complexity of narrative genres-is essential reading as we work to comprehend this key source in the production of knowledge."-Faye Ginsburg, David B. Kriser Professor of Anthropology, Director, Graduate Program in Culture and Media, and Director, Center for Media, Culture and History, New York University "Telling Stories provides an instructive and usable map of approaches to working with personal narratives. The authors' careful readings of a number of key texts are clear and graceful."-Michael Frisch, University at Buffalo, SUNY "Telling Stories supports the value of the narrative turn and offers well-grounded advice to would-be narrative historians."-Arthur W. Frank, University of Calgary

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