NO TIME TO DIE by Liz Tilberis


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Ovarian cancer and the world of fashion are strange bedfellows in this autobiography by the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar. A curious combination, but one the author pulls off with intelligence and flair (and the assistance of a talented writer). The book opens with a description of the ultimate New York party, with Tilberis celebrating her acknowledged success as the editor brought over from England to revive the Hearst fashion magazine. Here were Calvin and Ralph, supermodels and movie stars gossiping and enjoying themselves, even as Tilberis and her husband hid the fact that tomorrow she would face life-or-death surgery. She did not die, and indeed recovered sufficiently to receive an award presented by her friend, Diana Princess of Wales, at Lincoln Center. But the cancer returned, treated with what was then a radical therapy, a bone marrow transplant. Her hair fell out, her nails fell off, and she lost the weight that had led one reporter to call her “bovine.” Tilberis continues to receive chemotherapy from time to time to stave off recurrence of the cancer, but she also continues her work at Bazaar. Indeed, much of the book is devoted to amusing and unpretentious tales of her climb from art student to international fashion force, including fashion shoots with models wrapped in bandages or where games of strip Ping-Pong whiled away down times. Along the way, she acquired a devoted husband and two adopted children. It’s the fertility drugs that she took in early efforts to become pregnant that she names as the cause of her villainous cancer, a theory that has some support in the medical community. A lively, unflinching, and informative account of a woman’s bout with ovarian cancer that could kick off the kind of campaign that made breast cancer a priority in women’s health studies. (b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: April 13th, 1998
ISBN: 0-316-77674-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1998


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