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Pale Girl Speaks


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About the Author

Hillary Fogelson is a writer, blogger, tweeter, melanoma survivor, sun protection activist and sunscreen guru. She works to spread the word about sun protection on her website and on Twitter (@palegirlspeaks). A graduate of NYU, she lives in the shadows of the Hollywood sign with her husband, two daughters, and dog Alvin.


Composed as a screenplay with truncated chapters, very little exposition, and lots of punchy dialog, L.A. blogger Fogelson's memoir mines the panic and fear she felt when diagnosed with skin cancer just as she and her husband were thinking of having children. In her mid-20s, fair-complexioned, and a veteran sun worshiper, Fogelson had to make an about-face when her dermatologist revealed that a malignant melanoma required immediate surgery. She got strong support from family members including her clean-freak mother, laconic father, and TV-producer husband, Adam. And there were numerous, attentive doctors, all of whose quirky personalities are revealed via the book's dialogue. Fogelson renders her terrified, in-the-moment impressions as laugh-out-loud scenes. Trying to be admirably "proactive" as a cancer patient, she grew obsessively controlling about treatment and staying informed, calling her doctor repeatedly to find out test results, questioning whether surgery had removed the right mole, and applying vats of sunscreen. The experience was certainly bracing, but Fogelson's snappy account proves energetic and wonderfully accessible. Publishers Weekly"

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