Pamela's Reviews > Memoir of a Debulked Woman: Enduring Ovarian Cancer

Memoir of a Debulked Woman by Susan Gubar
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Jun 27, 2012

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Recommended to Pamela by: website
Recommended for: techies, health professionals; NOT for patients except the most gutsy (pun intended).
Read from June 10 to 20, 2012 , read count: not done yet

This book does not really read like a memoir, it's impersonal and replete with literary references, poetic allusions, intellectual projections, and I expected so much more in towards the "personal account" side of the spectrum. It seems like I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of "I" statements. "Memoir of a Debulked Woman" is more like a non-fiction book with the author and ovarian cancer as the subject(s). I am not interested so much in the intellectualization of Gubar's experience - and it appears she's striving for exactly that. No "positive thinking" war on cancer cheering section, nor a pity party story for her - as in her personal journey. I am in the middle of this book and what I find myself doing is skimming to the parts where she tells HER story, and having to go back and reread, deconstruct her impossibly complex and unreadable sentences, textbookish. What she doesn't realize is that it's possible to strike a middle ground - yes, Ms. Gubar, you can be emotional and intimate and at the same time show how smart and educated you are.

A few days later...I am a little farther in, and Gubar has found her stride. The more complications she gets into, the better she writes, and the more intimately she shares her experiences. I still don't like the digressions into literary references but I guess that's her job, so it's what she brings to her writing.

Factually speaking, It's one of the worst stories of a sub-optimal debulking and the complications and roadblocks are extreme, so I would not recommend this for anyone about to embark on a similar journey.
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