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Cancer Vixen: A True Storyby Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Synopses & Reviews
"What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, single-forever, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds...a lump in her breast?" That's the question that sets this powerful, funny, and poignant graphic memoir in motion. In vivid color and with a taboo-breaking sense of humor, Marisa Acocella Marchetto tells the story of her eleven-month, ultimately triumphant bout with breast cancer — from diagnosis to cure, and every challenging step in between.
But Cancer Vixen is about more than surviving an illness. It is a portrait of one woman's supercharged life in Manhattan, and a wonderful love story. Marisa, self-described "terminal bachelorette," meets her Prince Charming in Silvano, owner of the chic downtown restaurant Da Silvano. Three weeks before their wedding, she receives her diagnosis. She wonders: How will he react to this news? How will my world change? Will I even survive? And...what about my hair?
From raucous New Yorker staff lunches and the star-studded crowd at Silvano's restaurant to the rainbow pumps Marisa wears to chemotherapy, Cancer Vixen is a total original. Marisa's wit and courage are an inspiration — she's a cancer vixen, not its victim.
"In 2004, cartoonist Marchetto, a hyperstylish 'terminal bachelorette,' was busy capturing 'fabulista' humor, in the New Yorker and Glamour. She was engaged to a fabulous guy, perennially cool restaurateur Silvano Marchetto, whose personal style perfectly matched her Manhattan-centric life. If this were fiction, this is exactly when she'd stumble; unfortunately for her, life imitated art, and sure enough, she found a lump in her breast shortly before her wedding. Just as bad, she didn't have health insurance: her policy had lapsed shortly before the fateful mammogram. Cancer Vixen tells the story of what happens next, and how her inner circle stylists, gossip columnists, shoe designers and assorted others you'd only find in New York City, rallies round to help her beat the disease and get married on time and in high style. Marchetto wears her best high heels to chemotherapy and remarks on the similarities between her hospital gown and Diane von Furstenberg designs. The fashion details are great fun, drawn in a spare loose style, but it's the heart of her story, the support and love she gets from her family and friends, that make Cancer Vixen a universal story that's hard to put down." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Cancer Vixen redefines the memoir by expanding what's possible in the genre. Incredibly bold and brave, inspiring and absolutely packed with life-force, it's one of the freshest works of autobiography I've read in years. Part love story, part survival guide, Cancer Vixen is for everyone who would never read a cancer book. And it's for everyone who believes they'll never fall in love. Here's proof that sometimes the worst thing that can happen to us is actually the very best thing, in disguise." Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors and Dry: A Memoir
"I salute Marisa Acocella Marchetto and women like her who not only have the courage to battle breast cancer, but are able to do it with such unflagging optimism, creativity and humor. Marisa's willingness to share her experiences in such an honest, personal way is an incredible inspiration — whether you have experienced breast cancer yourself or love someone who has endured its many challenges." Evelyn H. Lauder, Founder and Chairman, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
"Marchetto's account is not merely vivid and engrossing but also a close-up of what a cancerista could expect, including life-size drawings of the biopsy needle." Library Journal
"Somehow, the graphic artist has taken the tone of Sex and the City into the cancer ward, with a happy ending that makes her memoir seem all the more life-affirming. Inspirational proof that there's nothing like a death scare to put life into perspective." Kirkus Reviews
"[An] absorbing and inspiring tale of a woman who knows how to do things — even fight cancer — in style." Hartford Courant
"Oddly enough, considering the subject matter, Cancer Vixen is tremendous fun, bubbly and sweet and optimistic." Seattle Times
"Marchetto's sunny drawings comfort and amuse while providing a beneficial education on cancer's dark details." New York Times
"[C]ertain to refine the language of breast cancer in its own, quirky way." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"This is less a book about cancer with a capital C than a highly entertaining one about what day-to-day life is like when cancer throws a wrench in the works." Newsday
About the Author
Marisa Acocella Marchetto lives in New York City and is a cartoonist for The New Yorker and Glamour. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and Modern Bride, among other publications. She is also the author of Just Who the Hell Is She, Anyway?
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