This review engages with the powerful critical and evocative autoethnography, Unraveling: An Autoethnography of Suicide and Renewal (2024). Written by M. F. Alvarez, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of New Hampshire, this book narrates the embodied experiences of a young Filipino gay man named Mike whose suffering from childhood trauma slowly escalates into relentless delusions and self-harm that eventually propel him to seek professional help. Alvarez’s beautifully sculpted book captures Mike’s multidimensional psychological life as he lives, observes, and narrates it within structures that medicalize people’s mental health experiences. Dividing his text into story and analysis, Alvarez brings a critical gaze to normative medical and psychiatric accounts of mental health and highlights the agency of people navigating their embodied landscapes, trauma, suicidality, and recovery.


autoethnography, critical, narrative, queer, mental health, people of color

Author Bio(s)

Bailey is Professor of Social Foundations and Qualitative Inquiry and Director of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at Oklahoma State University (USA). She engages in a variety of teaching, research, mentoring, and advocacy efforts to stretch qualitative inquiry practices, pursue relational ethics, and support communities of flourishing. With her friend and colleague, KaaVonia Hinton, Bailey also co-edits the Research in Life Writing and Education Book Series with IAP. Please direct correspondence to lucy.bailey@okstate.edu

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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