IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING by Gilda Radner
Kirkus Star

IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Film star/Saturday Night Live comedienne Radner's autobiography is largely about her ongoing fight for life against ovarian cancer--and a solid gift to the shelf of inspirational life-histories in the cancer wars. Where Gilda's differs from recent cancer bios by Phyllis Newman and Jill Ireland is that Gilda writes from the middle of the action. But whatever pain or haste lies behind her book, the writing is excellent, the pace dramatic, the feelings full of brave punches against great wishes of despair. Gilda and her fourth husband, actor Gene Wilder, were happy as cats in their new marriage--but Gilda was having endless medical troubles trying to get pregnant. Nothing, even surgery, worked. Then, while making a movie together in England and more or less looking the other way, Gene got Gilda pregnant. She miscarried, recovered, but found herself getting sicker and sicker. Her family history on the maternal side had had a full deck of cancers. And indeed, after endless tests, a grapefruit-sized ovarian tumor was removed from Gilda. The rest is treatment, great gain, relapse, new varieties of treatment, gain, macrobiotics, relapse. Along the way Gilda is given a huge education in human values, support systems (The Wellness Community), married love, and the need for the "delicious ambiguity" of living with hope against utter uncertainty. At her seemingly highest point of recovery, Life features her in a shining cover as a cancer survivor, which is followed by a relapse and once more the uphill battle ("That's me, 'Cancer Woman!' You can do anything to me. I can walk through storms. I can get splashed by cars. I can have millions of treatments. You can radiate me, you can give me poisons, but you can't destroy me because I'm Cancer Woman!"). Feisty stuff.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1989
ISBN: 671-63868-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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