A Small Story Concerning a Big Mistake

Returning Voice to a Breast Cancer Narrative


  • Elaine Martin Narrative Network Australia


breast cancer, performative storytelling, narrative structure, politics of voice


This article arose from an error. In 2000, I began recording the story of myself and nine other university women with later stage breast cancer. Following the fifth death, I took on the task to make what I could of the archive. An introduction to Cathy Riessman and narrative research began to direct and support this work. Of major significance was the performative aspects of our storytelling, especially our vocality. Text and reason, not voice and utterance, is privileged in the academy, but still I committed to honouring vocality in telling our story. My initial attempts failed, but this paper begins the redress.


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How to Cite

Martin, E. (2021). A Small Story Concerning a Big Mistake: Returning Voice to a Breast Cancer Narrative. Narrative Works, 10, 21 – 38. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/NW/article/view/31901