Lopsided: A Memoir

Lopsided: A Memoir

4.5 2
by Meredith Norton
     
 

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By the age of thirty -four , Meredith Norton had been a hymnal editor, art restorer, game-show producer, and a public school teacher. She'd even lived in a tree house and shepherded goats in Minorca. But none of these unusual experiences prepared her for the most dramatic turn her life would take: the diagnosis of an aggressive form of breast cancer. In this… See more details below

Overview

By the age of thirty -four , Meredith Norton had been a hymnal editor, art restorer, game-show producer, and a public school teacher. She'd even lived in a tree house and shepherded goats in Minorca. But none of these unusual experiences prepared her for the most dramatic turn her life would take: the diagnosis of an aggressive form of breast cancer. In this brilliantly funny and irreverent memoir, Norton approaches the disease with a refreshing combination of humor and tenacity, railing against victimhood and self-pity and refusing to become a stereotype. Told with a razor-sharp wit akin to David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, Lopsided is most definitely not a typical cancer memoir; it's the bitingly funny debut of a natural-born social observer.

Editorial Reviews

Nora Krug
In the burgeoning genre of the cancer memoir, Norton's contribution is exceptional. As she chronicles the harrowing details of her treatment, Norton is witty and bracingly unsentimental.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal

At the beginning of Norton's memoir, the most compelling thought for the reader is to avoid medical treatment in Paris (free though it may be), as the description of her health-care adventures are horrifying at best. Eventually, Norton, a thirtysomething black woman married to a Frenchman, settles in to a wonderfully enlightening and honestly (if somewhat digressively) written account of her struggle with inflammatory breast cancer. A California native, Norton comes from an educated and affluent family and had the air of entitlement to prove it. But she was truly humbled by this disease, especially by its indignities and appalling survival statistics. She moved with her husband and 11-month-old son back to her parents' sphere, where she did the requisite chemo, surgery, radiation, and more chemo. Her tone may be facetious, her language colorful, and her distractions gritty (readers will gasp at the taxidermy activities of a former neighbor), but her view of cancer (funny and irreverent) and her place in the world (she found herself "waiting for a miracle. Not a miracle to save my life, but the miracle to make something of it") will make readers stand up and cheer. Highly recommended for most libraries.
—Bette-Lee Fox

Kirkus Reviews
Blackly humorous debut memoir about surviving cancer. An African-American married to a Frenchman and living in Paris, Norton was misdiagnosed by four French doctors before learning during a visit to her parents in California that she had inflammatory breast cancer. Over the course of the next 20 months, she underwent chemotherapy and suffered the attendant baldness, hot flashes, rashes and fatigue; then she had a mastectomy, a course of radiation and more chemotherapy. Into the gut-wrenching details of these treatments, the feisty author splices a kaleidoscope of delightful anecdotes: growing up in an affluent family under the scrutiny of an intellectually demanding father; sharing a treehouse with a novice taxidermist after college; her misadventures as a public schoolteacher; the stresses of life in Paris as a young wife and mother of a toddler. She also includes a scene in Tangier, where she blocked her dentist's attempt to pull out her broken front teeth and then filed down the jagged edges herself. Norton is one plucky dame, and she displays a sharp eye for the human condition. Her challenging, awkward encounters-with doctors, nurses, even with well-meaning but clueless sympathizers-all have the ring of truth. Rejecting the model of super-survivor Lance Armstrong with his "excessive drive and talent," the author indulged in Krispy Kreme donuts, counted on friends and family to pull her through and took long naps. When she was sick, she was very sick, and she leaves no doubt about how awful her experience was. Norton calls herself a storyteller, and the tale she has crafted from a life-altering event is indeed hard to put down. Agent: David Halpern/The Robbins Office
From the Publisher
" Less a cancer survival guide and more a lovably unfiltered e-mail from a hilarious friend."
-People

" Norton [offers an] assured tone, keen eye and dry wit. I hope to encounter this clear, incisive, highly amusing voice again. Soon."
-The Orlando Sentinel

"A truly elegant memoir."
-O, The Oprah Magazine

" Norton strikes a successful balance between light and heavy, keeping her audience consistently engaged."
-San Francisco Chronicle

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101202913
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/12/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
510,413
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
" Less a cancer survival guide and more a lovably unfiltered e-mail from a hilarious friend."
-People

" Norton [offers an] assured tone, keen eye and dry wit. I hope to encounter this clear, incisive, highly amusing voice again. Soon."
-The Orlando Sentinel

"A truly elegant memoir."
-O, The Oprah Magazine

" Norton strikes a successful balance between light and heavy, keeping her audience consistently engaged."
-San Francisco Chronicle

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