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Lopsided: How Having Breast Cancer Can Be…

Lopsided: How Having Breast Cancer Can Be Really Distracting

by Meredith Norton

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Ah, Meredith Norton you are hilarious. This book was absolutely hysterical which made such a real book very readable. I don't mean real like she described every little procedure in medical terms (which a lot of these kinds of books have done) but real like your best friend was real when she told you about that one night stand she wished she hadn't had. I loved this. ( )
  E.J | Apr 3, 2013 |
Despite what should have been a sober topic, I couldn't stop laughing. I loved this book and Norton's perspective on her cancer. She is brutally honest and hilarious. ( )
  AQuilling | Oct 14, 2010 |
Meredith Norton, the child of a surgeon, grew up in an exclusive neighborhood and attended private school. [“My privileged upbringing had instilled in me a sense of entitlement that didn’t need reinforcing. That is really the American dream—not working hard and buying things, but reaching a place where there is no pressure to acknowledge that you already have everything.”] She was often one of only a few black girls at her school and has many white friends. A few of the friends she had who have since gone their separate ways now contacted her when they heard she had cancer and tried to make amends for their youthful disagreements. There’s one girl, Amy, who accused Meredith of stealing money from her on a ski trip even though Amy attended school on scholarship and Meredith came from a more wealthy family. The entire thing reeked of racism for Meredith at the time and she walked away from Amy forever.

Woven through her experiences as a cancer patient, Norton reminisces about her life experiences. Before she became an expatriate and moved to France and married Thibault, Norton had many occupations. She worked for three years as an inner-city 8th grade English and U.S. history teacher. She produced a game show in England. For three years, she and her best friend Rebecca ran a design company called Norton Whittaker Inc. that went bankrupt and nearly destroyed their friendship.

Norton chronicles her unilateral mastectomy [“What was left of my chest, my lone boob, served no purpose whatsoever but presented plenty of problems. If I wanted to appear presentable, I was forced to wear a falsie”], losing her hair [“no stubble, just smooth, rubbery skin stretched tight and waxy. I spent hours caressing it.”], chemotherapy [“About midway through the chemo my nails started to change color. My fingernails were so sensitive that I found myself lifting things with the heel of my palm and turning pages with my elbows. Slowly, the purple crept higher and higher up my nail bed and the white slowly pulled back to meet it.”], chemotherapy also caused her to void a grayish-brown noxious-smelling urine, hot flashes [they caused her to sweat right through her pillow even when sleeping in her underwear], fear of her mortality [“But what the therapist said was true: if I died prematurely Lucas wouldn’t even have any context in which to place me.”], and her distain for cancer survivor Lance “Live Well” Armstrong.

There’s a plethora of memoirs in the bookstores these days but I assure you that you will not regret reading Norton’s Lopsided. Whether you have a connection to cancer or not, Lopsided is a scintillating read. Norton is your friend, your college classmate. She’s that sassy woman you want to join your book club or invite for a cup of coffee. Her sharp, sardonic sense of humor propels this book from page one. ( )
2 vote writergal85 | Oct 4, 2009 |
Meredith is trying to figure life out. She's a free spirit who is constantly following her whims. When she finally decides to settle down, she's in Paris with her husband and they have a child. Desperate for a change of scenery, Meredith and her baby boy fly to the US to spend time with her parents. While she's there, she pulls out her boob for her mother's inspection. Her mother's reaction scares Meredith into seeing a doctor. The good news is Meredith hasn't lost her sense of humor and allows you to ride shotgun on the story of her life.

This book is a really fun read. Meredith is an extremely likable person and I truly hope that she uses her writing talent to tell many more stories. If you have boobs, you should read this book. And this isn't a book that's just for the ladies. I actually knew a guy in his early twenties who passed away because of breast cancer. ( )
  bridget3420 | Aug 23, 2009 |
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"As far as I'm concerned, Lance Armstrong and I are close to exact opposites, both physically and mentally ...If surviving this particularly deadly form of breast cancer required any of the Lance-like traits, such as a willingness to physically exert myself, I was as good as dead."
"As far as I'm concerned, Lance Armstrong and I are close to exact opposites, both physically and mentally... If surviving this particularly deadly form of breast cancer required any of the Lance-like traits, such as willingness to physically exert myself, I was as good as dead."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670019283, Hardcover)

By the age of thirty -four , Meredith Norton had been a hymnal editor, art restorer, game-show producer, and a public school teacher. She'd even lived in a tree house and shepherded goats in Minorca. But none of these unusual experiences prepared her for the most dramatic turn her life would take: the diagnosis of an aggressive form of breast cancer. In this brilliantly funny and irreverent memoir, Norton approaches the disease with a refreshing combination of humor and tenacity, railing against victimhood and self-pity and refusing to become a stereotype.

Told with a razor-sharp wit akin to David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, Lopsided is most definitely not a typical cancer memoir; it's the bitingly funny debut of a natural-born social observer.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:25 -0400)

Not your ordinary cancer memoir, this is the debut of a masterful humorist. Norton chronicles every step of her experience, starting with her bizarre symptoms while living in Paris to moving back home to California and living with her compulsive parents and their five television sets. Irreverent and incredibly funny, Norton rails against self-pity and victimhood and rants about the innumerable copies of Lance Armstrong's cancer survival book pressed on her by well-meaning family and friends: "If surviving this ... required any of the Lance-like traits, such as willingness to physically exert myself, I was as good as dead." Alongside the harrowing portrait of her treatments, Norton offers equally amusing memories from her offbeat life in an affluent African-American family as well as her marriage to a Frenchman.--From publisher description.… (more)

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