After leaving her twelve-year marriage, Sophie Tamas went to the local women's shelter to ask if she had been abused. The result is Life after Leaving, a performative, arts-based journey into the aftermath of spousal abuse and the endless struggle to make sense of loss. We see Sophie's world—the academic lectures, the therapy sessions, the childrearing, the dealings with an ex-spouse, the house reconstruction—as she looks for answers in the literature and in the lives of other women. Both lyrical and theoretical, autoethnographic and analytical, her captivating story builds to a chorus of voices, as her study participants express the loving, longing, pain, hope, and frustration of their experiences after leaving abusive relationships. The text closes with insightful and surprising suggestions for reframing "recovery". An earlier version of this manuscript was short-listed for the AERA Arts-Based Dissertation Award and won the 2011 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology. Sponsored by the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, University of Alberta.
Writing Lives: Ethnographic and Autoethnographic Narratives publishes autoethnographic and narrative research projects across the disciplines of the human sciences—anthropology, communication, education, psychology, sociology, etc. The series editors seek manuscripts that blur the boundaries between humanities and social sciences. We encourage novel and evocative forms of expressing concrete lived experience, including literary, poetic, artistic, critical, visual, performative, multi-voiced, and co-constructed representations. We are interested in ethnographic and autoethnographic narratives that depict local stories; employ literary modes of scene setting, dialogue, character development, and unfolding action; and include the author's critical reflections on the research and writing process, such as research ethics, alternative modes of inquiry and representation, reflexivity, and evocative storytelling.
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