1st Edition

Contemporary Narratives of Ageing, Illness, Care

Edited By Katsura Sako, Sarah Falcus Copyright 2022
    216 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection of essays explores cultural narratives of care in the contexts of ageing and illness. It includes both text-based and practice-based contributions by leading and emerging scholars in humanistic studies of ageing. The authors consider care not only in film (feature and documentary) and literature (novel, short story, children’s picturebook) but also in the fields of theatre performance, photography and music.

    The collection has a broad geographical scope, with case studies and primary texts from Europe and North America but also from Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Argentina and Mexico. The volume asks what care, autonomy and dependence may mean and how these may be inflected by social and cultural specificities. Ultimately, it invites us to reflect on our relations to others as we face the global and local challenges of care in ageing societies.


    Chapter 1

    Ageing and Care in the Visual Field: The Photography of Martine Franck

    Shirley Jordan

    Chapter 2

    Improvisation and Vulnerability: Circuits of Care in Performances of Age and Ageing

    Bridie Moore

    Chapter 3

    The Bucket List and More: Exploring Care Practices in an Australian Residential Aged Care Home through a "Narra-theatrical" Lens

    Janet Gibson

    Chapter 4

    "Come Healing of the Spirit, Come Healing of the Mind": The Evolution of Care in Sylvain Biegeleisen’s The Last Postcard and Twilight of a Life

    Amir Cohen-Shalev

    Chapter 5

    Dementia in Familial Documentary Film: The Ethics of Representation and the Ethics of Care

    Raquel Medina

    Chapter 6

    Re-orientating Hesitantly: Approaching the Entangled Temporalities of Cinema, Dementia, and Hong Kong from a Decolonial Viewpoint

    MaoHui Deng

    Chapter 7

    Ghost on the Canvas: Glen Campbell’s Musical Narratives of Ageing, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Care

    Simon Buck

    Chapter 8

    A Glut of Slippers: The Chronotope of Older Age in the Contemporary North American Short Story

    Elizabeth Barry

    Chapter 9

    Old Friends: Reimagining Care Relations through Helen Garner’s The Spare Room

    Sally Chivers

    Chapter 10

    Care, Generations and Reciprocity in Children’s Picturebooks in Japan

    Katsura Sako and Sarah Falcus


    Katsura Sako is Professor of English at Keio University, Japan. She has research interests in literary and cultural studies of the life course, ageing and gender. She has published in journals such as Contemporary Women’s Writing, Feminist Review and Women: A Cultural Review. She is the co-author, with Sarah Falcus, of Contemporary Narratives of Dementia: Ethics, Ageing, Politics (Routledge, 2019). She has held multiple research grants, including Fund for the Promotion of Joint International Research (Fostering Joint International Research) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, which funded the conference Ageing, Illness, Care in Literary and Cultural Narratives that was held at the University of Huddersfield in 2019 and provided the basis for this volume.

    Sarah Falcus is a Reader in Contemporary Literature at the University of Huddersfield. She has research interests in literary and cultural gerontology, science and speculative fiction, and children’s literature. She is the co-author, with Katsura Sako, of Contemporary Narratives of Dementia: Ethics, Ageing, Politics (Routledge, 2019). She is the co-editor, with Alison Waller, of a special issue of International Research in Children’s Literature (2021) that brings together children’s literature studies and ageing studies.