Siddhartha Mukherjee: The Emperor of all Maladies; Paul Cox: Tales From the Cancer Ward; Geoff Goodfellow, Grace Goodfellow, and Randy Larcombe: Waltzing with Jack Dancer; and Dudley Bradshaw: Cancer Four Times Removed

Reviewed by
February 2012, no. 338

Siddhartha Mukherjee: The Emperor of all Maladies; Paul Cox: Tales From the Cancer Ward; Geoff Goodfellow, Grace Goodfellow, and Randy Larcombe: Waltzing with Jack Dancer; and Dudley Bradshaw: Cancer Four Times Removed

Reviewed by
February 2012, no. 338

Three personal studies of the experience of cancer

Felicity Plunkett

 

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Fourth Estate, $35 pb, 571 pp, 9780007367481

 

Tales from the Cancer Ward
by Paul Cox
Transit Lounge, $29.95 pb, 208 pp, 9780980846232

 

Waltzing with Jack Dancer: a slow dance with cancer
by Geoff Goodfellow, Grace Goodfellow, and Randy Larcombe
Wakefield Press, $29.95 pb, 127 pp, 9781862549503

 

Cancer Four Times Removed
by Dudley Bradshaw
A&A Book Publishing, $24.99 pb, 104 pp, 9780980842432

 

In 2004 Carla Reed, a thirty-year-old kindergarten teacher, began to experience a cluster of mysterious symptoms. Bruises appeared and vanished ‘like stigmata’, and a numb headache and sudden exhaustion suggested that something was ‘terribly wrong’. Her pains were ghostly and mobile. When her doctors suggested migraines and prescribed aspirin, she demanded blood tests. She received a call to come back for more tests, and still recalls the urgency in the nurse’s voice. ‘Come now,’ Reed remembers her saying. ‘Come now.’

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