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The Healing Power of Storytelling


This title will ship upon release.

This title will ship upon release.

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About the Author

ANNIE BREWSTER, MD, is an Assistant Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a practicing physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001. She started recording patient narratives in 2010 and founded Health Story Collaborative (HSC) in 2013. Brewster lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband, four children, and two dogs. She loves to hike, run in the woods, ski, and play ice hockey. You can learn more at www.healthstorycollaborative.org and @HealthStoryCo. RACHEL ZIMMERMAN has been a journalist, writer, and editor for more than two decades, including as a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, a health reporter for WBUR, and co-founder of the blog CommonHealth. She has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and more. A Brooklyn native, Zimmerman lives in Cambridge, MA, with her family. Yoga and running keep her grounded. Reach her at https-//www.rachelzimmerman.net/ or @zimmerman082.


"In these pages, Dr. Annie Brewster quotes philosopher Daniel Dennett, who said 'words are potent elements of our environment,' and shows us the agency we have to shape our narratives-the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves-to bolster our sense of self and, above all, meaning. Through her own struggles, the stories of patients and participants in Healing Story Sessions, a dive into research on narrative identity, and a practical framework for storytelling, Dr. Brewster gives us an important guide for moving forward amidst struggle, using the power-the surprising, moving, mighty power-of words."
-Lucy Kalanithi, MD, FACP, clinical associate professor of medicine,
Stanford University, and widow of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, author of When Breath Becomes Air

"Annie Brewster's new book is revelatory. With the authority that comes from being a patient and a doctor simultaneously, Brewster is able to excavate the deep power of storytelling. The stories and journeys she shares-her own and others'-are riveting. The Healing Power of Storytelling is an invaluable guide for patients, families, medical professionals, and all of us ordinary mortals grappling with life."
-Danielle Ofri, MD, PHD, author of What Doctors Feel

"A beautifully written and compassionate work that highlights how deeply storytelling-
by patients and doctors-helps recovery, health, and, ultimately, healing."
-Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies

"The Healing Power of Storytelling is a thoughtful self-help resource with guidance for finding meaning in the face of life-changing illnesses. Its work is profound and insightful, imparting genuine hope without false promises."
-Foreword Reviews, starred review

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