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The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden

Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden on BookDragonLet me just say right up front: this is a (funny, yes – funny) story about cancer. As it might be expected of such stories, this is also filled with tears and resilience, suffering and hope, exhaustion and tenacity. And, it’s undoubtedly one of the most unputdownable graphic memoirs I’ve read in years.

Jennifer Hayden’s “no tits”-childhood-adolescence-young adulthood lasted longer than most. Her anxiety, fueled by the voluptuous images she saw in the Playboy magazines her father happened to leave on the coffee table, didn’t help: “the world was going to expect big things of my body.” But growth just didn’t happen for many, many years.

She stayed all endless arms and legs (and flat chest) until almost the end of college. Then she fell in love for the third (and permanent) time and began to need the underwire bras she always admired. In between being/enjoying/defining her life as a daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, daughter-in-law, mother, writer, and artist, Hayden chronicles the everyday with the extraordinary in black-and-white panels brimming with entertaining observations, just enough snark, and plenty of wisdom.

Cancer, however, looms. First her mother, then her mother-in-law, and finally her own two ‘tits’ fall victim to the malignant disease. She regrets what she didn’t do for her mother, she mourns the years cut short with her mother-in-law, she rejoices in her ability to survive – and vows, “I sure as sh*t wasn’t going to screw this up.”

An eight-year project in the making, Hayden’s lively memoir-thus-far is such an affirmation of love and life – albeit without any rose-colored glasses, thank you very much! – that you’re going to need to set aside some solid time to just bask in her accomplishment. Interruptions are not recommended. Re-reads certainly are.

Readers: Adult

Published: 2015

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