Ann Burack-Weiss explores a rich variety of published memoirs by
authors who cared for ill or disabled family members. Contrary to
the common belief that caregiving is nothing more than a stressful
situation to be endured, memoirs describe a life transforming
experience-self-discovery, a reordering of one's priorities, and a
changed view of the world. The Caregiver's Tale offers
insight and comfort to individuals caring for a loved one and is a
valuable resource for all health care professionals.
Identifying common themes, Burack-Weiss describes how the
illness career and social meaning of cancer, dementia, HIV/AIDS,
mental illness, and chemical dependence affect the caregiving
experience. She applies the same method to an examination of family
roles: parents caring for ailing children, couples and siblings
caring for one another, and adult children caring for aging
Jamaica Kincaid, Sue Miller, Paul Monette, Kenzaburo Oë, and
Philip Roth are among the many authors who share their caregiving
stories. Burack-Weiss provides an annotated bibliography of the
more than one hundred memoirs and an accompanying chart to help
readers locate those of greatest interest to them.
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