Secrets and lies: Narrative methods at the limits of research

Anim-Addo, Joan and Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2013. Secrets and lies: Narrative methods at the limits of research. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 5(3), pp. 383-396. [Article]

JWCP_5.3 Anim-Addo & Gunaratnam.pdf

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Abstract or Description

This collaborative article explores some commonalities to be found in narrative methods used by Caribbeanist, Joan Anim-Addo and sociologist, Yasmin Gunaratnam. Recognizing how narrative and stories are socially inflected and relational, our work with diasporic stories approaches narrative as an unstable and evolving event that poses its own ethical provocations. We discuss the limits of our respective methods – oral history and biographical narrative interviews – through an exploration of ‘secrets and lies’ in the telling and relaying of stories. We consider, centrally, the relations between facts and fictions in diasporic stories, highlighting two central conundrums that we have encountered in our research: (i) what is experienced and lived but cannot be said/told; (ii) what is told but not necessarily lived. Creolization theory and notions of cultural hybridity serve to frame the conversation that we engage.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature > Centre for Caribbean Studies


2013["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_inproduction" not defined]

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Date Deposited:

22 Apr 2013 12:52

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:50

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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