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Book and Media Reviews
August 9, 2006


Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(6):704-709. doi:10.1001/jama.296.6.705

The conventional wisdom—that taking care of a sick or disabled family member is a stressful trial to be endured by caregivers—is unraveled in Ann Burack-Weiss's The Caregiver's Tale: Loss and Renewal in Memoirs of Family Life. The questions that interested the author most as a licensed clinical social worker for more than 30 years focused on sources of strength for caregivers, how their views on family and the meaning of life changed over the course of caregiving, and how the wisdom of caregiving can be used to sustain others facing the same challenges. To answer these questions she turned to more than 100 published memoirs of caregiving, annotating and theorizing about what she found, which was that caregiving is a life-transforming experience, a journey from “loss to renewal.”

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