Danielle Spencer is the author of Metagnosis: Revelatory Narratives of Health and Identity (Oxford University Press, 2021) and co-author of Perkins-Prize-winning The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine (OUP, 2017). A faculty member in the Columbia University Narrative Medicine Graduate Program, her scholarly and creative work appears in diverse outlets, from The Lancet to Ploughshares. Formerly artist/musician David Byrne’s Art Director, Spencer holds a B.A. from Yale University, an M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and has been awarded fellowships at MacDowell and Yaddo. Lives in New York city.
“I think that [Metagnosis] is an extraordinary book. […] It's really rare in the broad general field that encompasses us both to encounter something that is genuinely original. And this book is full of insights that I had never had before. Indeed, it describes an entire category of experience—diagnostic in large part—and how it's played out in our society. And I think like, for example, Susan Sontag's Illnesses as Metaphor, it really changes the way that we think about things that we thought we knew all about. And so I don't have enough words of praise for what has been accomplished here, and accomplished, it should be added, in thrilling and readable prose, so that it remains deeply, deeply engaging. I mentioned Susan Sontag; it also has some of the kind of riveting charm of an Oliver Sacks book. It really captures the experiences of individual people and then draws profound conclusions from them."
— Andrew Solomon, winner of the National Book Award; author of National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
Visit The METAGNOSIS Project website
“Narrative Medicine: The Book at the Gates of Biomedicine.”
Danielle Spencer. The Use and Abuse of Stories: New Directions in Narrative Hermeneutics,
edited by Hanna Meretoja and Mark Freeman, Oxford University Press, 2023, 305–339. PDF
Philosophy Casting Call S3 E2: Metagnosis and Narrative Medicine w/ Danielle Spencer,
hosted by Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril, 12 January 2023
Shaddow // Yaddo S2 E14: State of Mind￼, with Andrew Solomon, 8 September 2022
“Wizards, Masks, and Metagnosis: Is the Pandemic Truly Changing Us?”
Danielle Spencer. Literature and Medicine, vol. 39, no. 2, Fall 2021, 198–211. PDF