Erin C. Murphy
Image: Penn State

Murphy’s narrative medicine book forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press

Erin Murphy, professor of English, has had her edited book of narrative medicine essays Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine accepted for publication by the University of Nebraska Press.

Co-edited by Murphy, Dinty W. Moore, and Renée K. Nicholson, the anthology features contributions by such notable writers as Floyd Skloot, Sonya Huber, Brian Doyle, William Bradley, Sandra Beasley, Michael Bérubé, and Rebecca Housel. Also featured is an essay by Penn State Altoona alumna Erin M. Kelly who provides a unique perspective on disability and dependency.

The book also includes the perspective of healthcare workers. From navigating the most basic interactions with patients—such as a handshake—to the challenges of staying current with pharmaceutical developments, doctors and other providers take readers behind the curtain of their professional worlds.

The reader report for the press called the project “powerful in its conception” and said “the essays included in this book are nothing short of spectacular,” adding that the project is not only “a major contribution to the dialogue of the body in literature” but also “a wonderful fit in the areas of medicine, psychology, and gender studies.”

“We anticipate that Bodies of Truth will be an important addition to the ever-growing field of narrative medicine,” Murphy observed. “While a number of books explore a single author’s medical experience, this anthology is unique in that it provides a variety of perspectives, with essays focusing on cancer, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, severe food allergies, death of a child, Down syndrome, autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, PTSD, and others important subjects.”

Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine will be published in early 2019.