Qualitative Book Award

International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

 Qualitative Book Award 2024

The ICQI Qualitative Book Award award recognizes works that make a major contribution to the study and practice of qualitative approaches, with criteria such as: success in experimenting with new or traditional writing forms; the inclusion of critical reflections on the writing and research process; contributions to living meaningful lives; and insights into creating a socially just world. The Book Award committee – Tony Adams, Kakali Bhattacharya, Jonathan Wyatt – has had the privilege of reviewing 22 fine nominations for the 2024 award.

An honorable mention is awarded to:

Trish Thompson and Dan Harris, Collaborative Writing and Psychotherapy: Flattening the Hierarchy Between Therapist and Client, Routledge.

Collaborative Writing and Psychotherapy explores the notion that both client and therapist change as a result of engaging in a psychotherapeutic process. Thompson and Harris’ dialogic approach allows each of their voices to be heard together in the exploration of autoethnographic methods (collaborative autoethnography and dialogic autoethnography) and creative-relational approaches. Their work together offers a compelling and brilliant model for doing equitable, vulnerable collaborative research with, and as, a therapist and with, and as, a researcher. “Collaboration, accessibility, emotional connection,” writes reviewer Stephen Andrew: “autoethnography allows all three in the client-therapist relationship. Hierarchies are transcended, healing is transformative. This book shows us how.”

The winner of the 2024 Qualitative Book Award is:

M.F. Alvarez, Unravelling: An Autoethnography of Suicide and Renewal. Routledge.

With this creative and compelling autoethnography, Alvarez discerns invaluable insights about writing and representing mental illness, as well as offers much-needed critiques of common misunderstandings of suicide and survival.  The text is a brave exploration of mental distress, trauma, and resilience. Through vivid storytelling, Alvarez navigates the complexities of madness, inviting readers to witness the personal, relational, and cultural costs of mental ill-health. The narrative confronts stigma head-on, delving into topics such as self-harm and suicidality with unflinching honesty. Blending novelistic evocative prose with rigorous academic inquiry, Alvarez’s work transcends traditional boundaries, offering readers a transformative journey that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant. Alvarez’s autoethnography is a literary and methodological achievement, seamlessly combining performative writing with narrative theory. The author invites readers into a world where the extraordinary intersects with the mundane through haunting imagery and raw introspection. By opening the threshold of vulnerability, Alvarez creates a space for exploration and possibility, challenging readers to confront their biases and preconceptions about mental health. In Unravelling, each page is a testament to the power of storytelling to illuminate the darkest corners of human experience and inspire renewal.

Many congratulations to these fabulous authors!

Jonathan Wyatt, Chair, ICQI 2024 Qualitative Book Award Committee, Edinburgh, March 2024