A valuable, highly informative, and lucid compendium composed purposefully for fellow travelers.



Douglas provides a comprehensive guide for navigating the difficult path from the diagnosis of breast cancer to recovery in this memoir.

In July 2019, the author received a call from her doctor reporting an abnormality in her recent mammogram; more imaging tests were needed. “I discovered that there isn’t always a straight line from imaging through biopsy and diagnosis to treatment. In my case, it was almost three months from my abnormal mammogram to surgery,” she writes. The first surgeon Douglas consulted for a biopsy left her feeling uncomfortable, and she delayed action until she found a specialized breast surgeon. Reflecting on this, she offers one of her first pieces of advice: Get a second opinion. Ultimately, Douglas was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ. She explains, “This type of breast cancer isn’t invasive and hadn’t spread to the surrounding tissues.” It was declared stage 0, but there were still complicated decisions ahead. What type of surgery should she select—mastectomy or lumpectomy plus radiation? Douglas reviewed the macro and micro consequences of each procedure with her oncology/surgical team and took the time to do her own research as well. Given the early stage of her cancer, she chose the less invasive path. There was difficulty in dealing with the confusing and cumbersome medical terminology, the scheduling and rescheduling, learning to manage and respect the emotional roller coaster of the journey, and, always, the waiting. Her articulate memoir is meticulously organized, with precise descriptions of each medical visit, explanations of procedure options, and recommendations for piloting through the health care system and insurance issues. With an unflinching honesty, Douglas discusses everything from psychological challenges to sexual difficulties. She networked with other breast cancer survivors and shares pieces of their individual choices and experiences, always emphasizing that this story is about her personal path: “Breast cancer is not one single disease with one correct treatment option.” From abnormal mammogram through surgery and radiation treatment to recovery, Douglas packs her narrative with helpful tips and advice, including recommended resources and services.

A valuable, highly informative, and lucid compendium composed purposefully for fellow travelers.

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

ISBN: 9781954805408

Page Count: 348

Publisher: Bold Story Press

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2023

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A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

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A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

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A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.


The iconic model tells the story of her eventful life.

According to the acknowledgments, this memoir started as "a fifty-page poem and then grew into hundreds of pages of…more poetry." Readers will be glad that Anderson eventually turned to writing prose, since the well-told anecdotes and memorable character sketches are what make it a page-turner. The poetry (more accurately described as italicized notes-to-self with line breaks) remains strewn liberally through the pages, often summarizing the takeaway or the emotional impact of the events described: "I was / and still am / an exceptionally / easy target. / And, / I'm proud of that." This way of expressing herself is part of who she is, formed partly by her passion for Anaïs Nin and other writers; she is a serious maven of literature and the arts. The narrative gets off to a good start with Anderson’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in coastal Vancouver, raised by very young, very wild, and not very competent parents. Here and throughout the book, the author displays a remarkable lack of anger. She has faced abuse and mistreatment of many kinds over the decades, but she touches on the most appalling passages lightly—though not so lightly you don't feel the torment of the media attention on the events leading up to her divorce from Tommy Lee. Her trip to the pages of Playboy, which involved an escape from a violent fiance and sneaking across the border, is one of many jaw-dropping stories. In one interesting passage, Julian Assange's mother counsels Anderson to desexualize her image in order to be taken more seriously as an activist. She decided that “it was too late to turn back now”—that sexy is an inalienable part of who she is. Throughout her account of this kooky, messed-up, enviable, and often thrilling life, her humility (her sons "are true miracles, considering the gene pool") never fails her.

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9780063226562

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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