Cover image for Bone : dying into life
Bone : dying into life
Woodman, Marion, 1928-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking Compass, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 245 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC265.6.W66 A3 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



"Bone" is the story (chronicled in journal form) of author and analyst Marion Woodman's experience with uterine cancer in 1994. It is both a meditation on illness and a template for transformation, offering the author's deep insights into healing (as opposed to "curing"); the role of art and poetry in the soul's journey to balance and wholeness, and an extraordinarily honest, depthful portrait of what Woodman feels led her down the path to cancer, physically and spiritually, over the course of her earlier life. Woodman details the harrowing aspects of her journey and the path by which she ultimately returned to health. Illustrated throughout with art, quotations, and line drawings, "Bone" is a unique testament to the spirit and to the tremendous courage and insight of an extraordinary woman.

Author Notes

Marion Woodman, Ph.D. (Hon.), is a leader in feminine development & a Jungian analyst. She is the author of many acclaimed books, including "Addiction to Perfection" & "Leaving My Father's House," that bridge the fields of analytical psychology & feminine psychology.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Jungian therapist Woodman had long suffered back pain and increasingly limited mobility when, in her mid-sixties, she learned she had uterine cancer. She presents her battle with the cancer in journal form, including marginal line drawings, photographs, and quotations from Emily Dickinson, William Blake, Thomas Merton, and others. The entries span from November 1993 to April 1995, and encompass wrenching physical and emotional suffering. Woodman endured hours of brutally invasive radiation that almost drove her mad with pain. She agonized over using Western medical practices to save her life, for she felt she was being untrue to the divine goddess Sophia and the healing rituals, incantations, and nutritional programs she had long trusted. Furthermore, afraid of being dismissed as an elderly New Age freak, she struggled to communicate with unbelieving doctors as she wrestled for inner balance. Her continuing back and leg problems eventually led to the discovery of a bone tumor. Throughout, she managed to maintain her humor and dignity, eventually deepening her understanding of suffering and the human spirit. --Whitney Scott

Publisher's Weekly Review

When she was diagnosed in 1993, at the age of 65, with uterine cancer, the author drew on the resources of alternative healing as well as conventional medicine in her fight against the disease. A Canadian writer (Addiction to Perfection) and Jungian analyst, Woodman is also known for her New Age feminism and frequent appearances with poet Robert Bly, with whom she coauthored The Maiden King. Reproduced here is the journal she kept from November 1993 to March 1995 that documents the internal spiritual struggle her illness triggered. She details how she used imagery, took herbs and supplements prescribed by nontraditional healers and, in addition, followed their dietary strictures in order to fortify her body to withstand the recommended radiation treatment (including a painful and harrowing 48-hour ordeal). Woodman's diary entries are filled with introspective ruminations, mythological allusions, references to Jungian archetypes and the divisions between the masculine and the feminine, which will have the greatest appeal to those who are familiar with her work. Although Woodman had the support of her husband and friends during her illness, she was haunted by the recent death of a brother from cancer, her osteoporosis worsened and she was also later threatened by a new tumor that proved to be benign. Woodman has recovered from her cancer; those who have been similarly afflicted will appreciate her courage and determination to reclaim her body and spirit. 8-city author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved