Living the Narrative Life: Stories as a Tool for Meaning Making
Academic paradigms have shifted. There is a growing narrative moment. Despite that, entrenched anti-narrative views continue to make alignment with the narrative camp a troubling prospect. Gian Pagnucci lends support to those who desire to save the story-to use narrative ways of knowing in their teaching and research. He demonstrates how narrative inquiry and analysis are valid and important parts of the English discipline, too much so to be lost to academic politicking.
Creative and engaging, Pagnucci's approach carefully blends story, poem, and theory. By using multiple genres, he adds weight to the argument that essayistic literacy is not the exclusive means by which we can disseminate knowledge. In addition, Pagnucci artfully combines ideas and quotes in two short "Interludes," collages of interpretations of narrative theory and teaching practice. These add further proof to his point that narrative theory builds on a spirit of collaboration, on a real need to exchange stories to make meaning.
Pagnucci pictures a world in which teachers and students leave their assigned roles behind. Instead, they become co-storytellers. When that happens, education becomes more than meaningful-it becomes more enjoyable. And that's the true beginning of living the narrative life.