Capturing the wisdom of a lifetime

By Exisle Publishing | Posted: Sunday December 2, 2018

South Island publisher launches a unique initiative to help people reflect on their life experiences and capture their personal stories.

The stories we tell ourselves about who we are can be the most powerful narratives of our lives.

They allow us to reflect on our life’s meaning, help us process the twists and turns that have shaped us, and give us agency—a sense of power over how we respond those events.

Yet for many us our life story legacy will be no more than a dusty shoe box filled with unlabelled photographs and, perhaps, a few half-remembered tall tales passed down orally, like Chinese whispers, until their true meaning is lost.

It is a picture independent publisher Exisle Publishing is determined to change. Exisle, a family-run company, has been publishing non-fiction books for 25 years. In that time, they have published many books by established psychologists, as well as collaborating with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage on books of significance to New Zealand as a nation. This experience has highlighted the healing power of narrative and the importance of recording knowledge that without proper curation would be washed away on the ebbing tide of time.

Exisle has developed a new programme called Emotional Inheritance, to help the senior members of our community celebrate their life stories and record their wealth of experiences. Working with writers who have been purpose-trained, the life stories of New Zealanders will be treated with the respect they deserve, told professionally and published to industry standard.

Emotional Inheritance is the brain-child of Exisle CEO, Gareth St John Thomas. Thomas says the great strength of the programme is that it has been developed with a team of top psychologists. The interview questions are tailored to help people really reflect on their lives. The interviewers, who are experienced writers selected for their capacity for empathy, are trained to ensure that the process of retelling your life’s experiences is rewarding for those they interview.

“Generations today often know very little about the lives of their older family members. Meanwhile, the older generations often feel a keen desire to leave a legacy, to share their story and their wisdom, but feel unable to do so. This is where Emotional Inheritance comes in,” Thomas said.

With the first of these volumes of personal histories already on the presses, Thomas anticipates the value of the Emotional Inheritance will resonate beyond individuals and their families to the wider community.

“Our memories define us. Our tribal memories unite us. By honouring these stories, we are all richer,” Thomas said.

Emotional Inheritance is a division of Exisle Publishing, an independent, family owned and operated company with over 25 years of storytelling experience.Emotional Inheritance is a division of Exisle Publishing, an independent, family owned and operated company with over 25 years of storytelling experience.

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