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Patient and Healthcare Professional Narratives: Illness Narratives at Gumberg

Narrative Examples

See below for a few selections of narrative works available at Gumberg Library. Clicking on the cover of a title (or on the play button, for multimedia material) will direct you to the library catalog entry for that item.

Written Narratives

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
Quicksand: HIV/AIDS in Our Lives
What It Is Like to Go to War
Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything In Between
I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

Youth and Children's Narratives

Stitches: A Memoir
Pedro & Me: Friendship, Loss, & What I Learned

Graphic Novels

Our Cancer Year
Cancer Vixen
Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir

Multimedia Narratives

Straight Talk About Autism

Straight Talk About Autism

A two-part series of interviews with children and adolescents with autism and their parents/caregivers.

God said,

God said, "Ha!"

Following the lead and life of Julia Sweeney, God Said "Ha!" shows vulnerability and obligation as Julia cares for an ill family member (and learns of her own illness, too).

American Splendor

American Splendor

This film is a biography of Harvey Pekar (author of the American Splendor comic book series), covering his life, work, and experiences with cancer.

The C Word

The C Word

This documentary discussing cancer prevention led by cancer researcher, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber along with cancer-survivor and director, Meghan L. O'Hara.

Searching for Health Care Narratives

You can use DUQSearch in order to find these narratives. The Gumberg Library has many physical copies of healthcare narratives and you can use your search terms to limit it by disease. You can also use search terms to limit the author of the narrative, either a patient or a physician.

You can access DUQSearch either by following this link, or finding the box on the main page of Gumberg's website. For our purposes, click on the Advanced Search link.

Once at the Advanced Search page, you'll have to enter search terms. A list of possible search terms is below, but feel free to explore possible searches on your own.

You can use search terms to specify a particular illness, or whether the narrative is produced by a physician, nurse, or patient.


illness OR disease autism
cancer physician
HIV OR AIDS nurses
narratives bipolar disorder
lived experience public opinion


Using "AND" in your search between terms will pull materials where both terms show up and using "OR" in your search will show materials where either one of the two terms is available. For example, "(HIV OR AIDS) AND narratives" will show all materials that include all instances of HIV, AIDS, and both HIV and AIDS as long as they also contain "narratives." Let's try it.

Just type your search terms into the first white space. We will narrow down our search later.



Using these terms will do a search for: "HIV AND narratives" and "AIDS AND narratives." Hit search in order to begin the narrowing down process.

The left-hand column beside your list of search results offers several options for narrowing down search results by publication date, source type, language, and more. If you're looking to only find physical books in the library, select "Gumberg Library Print Only". To narrow down for other material types, you can do so under the "Limit by source type" header.

For additional help, you can Ask a Librarian here, contact the creators of this guide, or visit the library in person.

Subject Guide

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David Nolfi