This special issue presents William Labov's and Joshua Waletzky's 1966 paper entitled "Narrative Analysis: Oral Versions of Personal Experience," and then incorporates 47 new contributions which utilize the original article as a springboard to reflect on narrative and narrative analysis. In this sense, the contributions to this book serve as a retrospective and an appreciation of the originality of the 30-year-old paper and its enormous influence on the emerging field of narrative.
However, within the last 30 years, many new orientations have emerged that attempt to go beyond or above the framework and standards established by Labov and Waletzky. This special issue provides the opportunity to take critical stock of the past three decades and to look forward to new forms of narrative inquiry. Its contributions hold the balance between what enabled narrative inquiry over the last 30 years, what constrained it, and what can be learned from those enabling and constraining factors.