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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Cancer Vixen: A True Story Hardcover – September 26, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto's graphic memoir about her battle with breast cancer is as bold, vibrant, and brave as she is--pumped full of color, the story leaps off the page and into your heart. Poignant and funny, this inspiring story is made all the more powerful by Marchetto's cartoons. Lucky for us, Marchetto agreed to create a cartoon just for Amazon.com customers. Check out her strip below. --Daphne Durham

Amazon.com Exclusive: A Cartoon from Marisa Acocella Marchetto

Meet Marisa, a self-described "shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, single-forever, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life." Her graphic memoir, Cancer Vixen describes what happens when she finds a lump in her breast. Want to know what happens to an author when they discover their sales rank at Amazon.com? Read Marisa's exclusive strip below to find out.










From Publishers Weekly

In 2004, cartoonist Marchetto, a hyperstylish "terminal bachelorette," was busy capturing "fabulista" humor, in the New Yorker and Glamour. She was engaged to a fabulous guy, perennially cool restaurateur Silvano Marchetto, whose personal style perfectly matched her Manhattan-centric life. If this were fiction, this is exactly when she'd stumble; unfortunately for her, life imitated art, and sure enough, she found a lump in her breast shortly before her wedding. Just as bad, she didn't have health insurance: her policy had lapsed shortly before the fateful mammogram. Cancer Vixen tells the story of what happens next, and how her inner circle— stylists, gossip columnists, shoe designers and assorted others you'd only find in New York City, rallies round to help her beat the disease and get married on time and in high style. Marchetto wears her best high heels to chemotherapy and remarks on the similarities between her hospital gown and Diane von Furstenberg designs. The fashion details are great fun, drawn in a spare loose style, but it's the heart of her story, the support and love she gets from her family and friends, that make Cancer Vixen a universal story that's hard to put down. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307263576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307263575
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Okay, I feel lousy saying that, but really, I couldn't put this book down. Which is odd, because I work in an (shall remain a-nonny-mus)bookstore and "Cancer Vixen" doesn't exactly say "read me."

Well, okay, maybe it does, in its own way, with its electrified purple cover (where do they keep the batteries to power that color?) and simplified drawings.

The cartoonist in question, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, was at the top of her game when a doctor noticed a lump in her breast. It couldn't have come at a worse time for Marchetto. She was engaged to a wonderful man and life was humming along pretty well in a profession that can be less than pretty. Then came The News. Cancer.

So instead of writing another book about breast cancer, Marchetto grabbed her pen and did what she does best: cartooning. The result is an honest, visually engaging and sometimes hilarious read. Beast Cancer doesn't say, "graphic novel", but here, it works, and quite well, too. The illustrations reflect the author's emotions with a great deal of clarity and are quite effective. And the backstory of how she met her fiance and the description of her multiple bffs, shopping habits, and work life are interesting as well. But most of all, I liked the honesty. That coupled with the little details of her everyday life were very gratifying, like a good healthy chat with one of your girlfriends who gives you all the details.

Even if you are not shopping for something about cancer, this is a very good read. And if you buy a copy of it with crumbs in it, that's just from the workers who read it during lunch. Consider it a compliment for the book.
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Format: Hardcover
As a BC survivor, like many of you, I came to this book with a personal perspective. In fact, it turns out that I live in the same neighborhood as the author, but am about 15 yrs. older. I know this is a book about a "younger" "glam" cancer pt., but that's OK. What I liked best was that, when you have BC (or any serious illness) you've got to do whatever it takes to get thru, so a sense of humor, and a sense of art is fabulous. I admired the author's courage and panache while also reminiscing (not always the happiest thing) about my own treatment. This book is for readers with a sense of humor and a sense of the quirky, but I think that's just what BC deserves, not seriousness all the time. Good for you, Marchetto!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I love New Yorker cartoons. I hate comic books. I LOVED Cancer Vixen. I've been through a terrible illness and I have friends and family who have been through cancer, chemo, and radiation. This is an excellent story of one person's experience. It's the best literature I've ever read about the cancer/chemo experience because it shows what it's all about and how it effects the patient's life and family. I could really relate! I'm a writer, but no purely written story could have had the same impact and wisdom as this beatuiful, visual story. And the writing is witty and spot on too. Marisa is a brilliant cartoonist. She was actually very brave to tell her story as she did. I wish her happiness and health!
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a huge fan of Marissa Acoccella's for years, loving all her New Yorker cartoons, but nothing prepared me for how wonderful -- just wonderful, wonderful -- this book is. I've already read it three times in the last week. It's funny and poignant. There are great shoes and great characters (I especially loved the depiction of all those pipe- cleaner-thin girls I see all the time at Da Silvano and, of course, Silvano is so loveable in the book.)

Get this book for every woman you know. If someone doesn't love this, they can't have a pulse.

Oh, and Marissa Acoccella, if you're reading this, thank you so much. I come from a family of survivors and this has been an especially trying year, and your book saved me. And us.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked it well enough, and I wouldn't want to have missed it if I were studying a set of texts that takes on the topic. I can also imagine the book buoying the spirits of someone going through chemo --- to the extent that is possible. Marisa Marchetto is funny and sassy throughout, and she gives an engaging inside view of Carrie Bradshaw-style New York City. Perhaps the greatest contribution she makes to the visual language of comics is her handling of how loved ones (and doctors) manage their faces when delivering bad news. Marchetto gets it exactly right, so much so that I can't believe others hadn't already adopted it. (Possibly someone else has done it, but I haven't seen it, and I'm well versed in the medium.) Oh, and I adore the way she depicts the male lead.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't think I would have enjoyed this book so much had it not been in graphic form. What a neat way to read a book. I'm pretty amazed by the author's candor and for sharing so much of a bad time in her life with the readers of her book. I must keep up with her and also read her other book!
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Format: Hardcover
I read this from the perspective of an early stage breast cancer diagnosis currently undergoing chemo wanting to read other such stories that are more in a light-hearted vein.

And this story-told-through-cartoons was right up my alley. Acocella-Marchetto is kind of the like the main character of Sex-in-the-City living a glamorous, artsy New York lifestyle complete with hip, trendy, high-heeled shoes, editor-struggles, a procession of boyfriends, a difficult but artsy mother, and bossy, hip friends with rich/famous clients.

Much of the story is written about those aspects of the author's life, going back all the way to her reaction to 9/11 and then jumping ahead years to her hearing her diagnosis of breast cancer on the eve of her marriage to a rich, famous, gorgeous restaurateur.

Her diagnosis and then subsequent struggles with body-image in the fashion/body conscious world she lives in (especially in regards to the models who constant hit on her fiance) is the main focus of the story. While she does tell us bits about the chemo and the indignity of multiple mammograms, she glosses over alot of the side effects to main talk about her relationships and struggle to find less negativity (kaballah and psychotherapy).

If you're looking for memoirs with information or curious about dealing with side effects of chemo or radiation, then this is not the cancer memoir for you. If like me, you're a middle class diagnosee wanting a bit more of "real" life with kids, than the parts about her glamorous life while entertaining were not something I could connect with at all.
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