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Summary

A 2012 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008, Susan Gubar underwent radical debulking surgery, an attempt to excise the cancer by removing part or all of many organs in the lower abdomen. Her memoir mines the deepest levels of anguish and devotion as she struggles to come to terms with her body’s betrayal and the frightful protocols of contemporary medicine. She finds solace in the abiding love of her husband, children, and friends while she searches for understanding in works of literature, visual art, and the testimonies of others who suffer with various forms of cancer.

Ovarian cancer remains an incurable disease for most of those diagnosed, even those lucky enough to find caring and skilled physicians. Memoir of a Debulked Woman is both a polemic against the ineffectual and injurious medical responses to which thousands of women are subjected and a meditation on the gifts of companionship, art, and literature that sustain people in need.

©2012 Susan Gubar (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Memoir of a Debulked Woman

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Great insight

Great,unflinchingly honest book. I struggled to follow the more philosophical explorations of attitudes towards death and illness, but the personal account is a superb (and uncomfortable) insight into the reality of living with ovarian cancer.

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A Phemonenal Book

I LOVE Susan Gubar's work. Her New York Time's column is superb. This is a tough book, but incredibly honest. A must read for anyone with experience of ovarian cancer, but not if you're a head-in-the-sand type.

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Profile Image for Jathushiga Bridget Rajah
  • Jathushiga Bridget Rajah
  • 23-02-21

I'm grateful beyond words

It's a year after my surgery and 6 months since my last doze of chemo. I was lucky enough to keep my colon and not have a stomi, but I lost my ability to have children at 37 years (I can't even write it here without tearing up) and I'm now in menopause. I also had a drain due to an infection just when the pandemic started. I still have no words to explain how horrible the experience of a cancer treatment is. I'm usually so talkative, but this I'm silent about bc I can see how my loved ones are hurting when I try. They are so sad and scared. I discovered this book bc I really needed help to understand my sitiation. Today I struggle with crippling fatigue. When I listen to this book I understand why my body is so tired, and I try to respect and love it. I am so greateful for Susan Gubar for written this wonderful, smart and honest book. For me the cancer treatment was a existensial paradox: to live I had to undergo treatment that take away my ability to enjoy all my reasons to want to live. This book helped my deal with some of my emotions.

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