In this book review, I examine the functionality and usability of Critical Approaches to Life Writing Methods in Qualitative Research by Mulvihill and Swaminathan by interrogating my own preconceptions of life writing and how they informed my purview. The authors of this book map out distinct life writing methods by building on seminal literary and scholarly work. Through their use of metaphors, theory, and frameworks, the authors paint each life writing method canvas in a way that is tangible and appropriate to both novice and seasoned investigators. By coalescing life writing with critical theory, the authors describe an important perspective on life writing, and how it may be integrated into the research process.


Life Writing, Narrative Methods, Qualitative Research, Critical Theory, Methodology

Author Bio(s)

Umair Majid has held appointments as a Curriculum Designer, Program Developer, and Instructor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He completed his graduate training in health research methodology with a specialization in the quality appraisal of qualitative research. He has diverse experiences, knowledge, and expertise from the qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research traditions. Currently, he is finishing a Master of Education at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, focusing on innovative curriculum design and program evaluation. He is also an incoming PhD student in Health Services Research at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, using qualitative research methods to investigate patient and family engagement strategies in hospital planning, service delivery, and evaluation. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: majidua@mcmaster.ca.

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