The choice of some illness survivors to engage in service to other ill people, and thus to focus their lives on illness longer than their own treatment requires, is not self-evident. The authors describes alternative cultural narratives of survivorship, proposes an understanding of survivorship as a form of craft, and considers the societal mortality that is reflected in survivor's accounts of their service work.
Writing is the integral part of research when a story is crafted. This story makes whatever claim the research will have on readers, and social scientists have increasingly recognized the need to take their storytelling seriously. Discussion of several contemporary ethnographies offers practical advice on writing by asking how the authors tell such good stories. Advice begins with how to catch readers' attention and moves to issues of telling the truth in postmodern times.