An appealing, sharply self-inquisitive remembrance.


A breast cancer survivor recounts her arduous journey in this debut memoir.

Before her diagnosis in 2010, attorney Dunnewold thought of herself as the “queen of compliance”—she didn’t smoke or “fool around,” and she practiced yoga and ate organic food. Her worst vices, she says, were “expensive chocolate and Grey’s Anatomy.” So in July 2010, when she discovered a “weirdly grainy area” in her breast, she wasn’t immediately worried. She was later told that she had “several tumors on both sides” and that her only option was a bilateral mastectomy. In the space of two years, Dunnewold came to terms with the fact that she had stage 3 cancer while enduring lifesaving surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, followed by reconstructive procedures. Her memoir candidly examines all aspects of her fight against breast cancer, from her first mammogram to nipple reconstruction and areola tattooing, and she relates her story with a probing, dry wit. For example, she tells of writing an email with the subject line “A Bump in the Road,” announcing to acquaintances she had cancer, and she confides, “I did not entitle my email ‘A Bump in the Boob,’ although I was tempted.” This dark sense of humor may not be to everyone’s taste, but it successfully counterbalances the unsettling facts that the author faces head-on: “Don’t think you’re so special,” she writes. “Don’t think you’re exempt.” What sets Dunnewold’s memoir apart from others of a similar nature is that it directly addresses the question “Why me?” and presents this line of thought as being unhelpful: “Sometimes what happens to us is a mystery. But we can take credit for how we respond.” Her writing also sparkles with clarity and wisdom throughout: “You want to know what lessons cancer taught me? Here’s The Big One: Life is too short to finish War and Peace.” Overall, this book may provide a valuable lifeline to those facing similar challenges.

An appealing, sharply self-inquisitive remembrance.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68433-378-3

Page Count: 217

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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