Idea: I Don't Wanna Be Pink, Dena Taylor's memoir of the battle with breast cancer that resulted in a double mastectomy, is brilliant, hilarious, gritty, brave, mercilessly honest and life-embracing in a way that hasn't been seen since Gilda Radner's It's Always Something. Taylor's refusal to give up one iota of her "one wild and precious life" makes for a gripping, exhilarating book.
Prose/Style: Taylor wields the scalpel of a savagely formidable wit, fiercely refusing to surrender to the cancer that costs her both breasts. Honest, brave, messy, angry at the illness and at her body that has somehow turned into The Enemy, furious at the well-meaning who patronizingly pity cancer survivors, grateful to feel her own returning strength, filled to the brim with the appetite to squeeze every drop she can out of life, and irresistibly, beautifully human - all which she manages to record with the accuracy of a scientist and the deep emotional truth of a born writer.
Originality: It sounds strange to say that one enjoyed reading a memoir of someone's battle against cancer, but Dena Taylor writes with such epic candor and hilarious turn of phrase that there's no other word for it. Mordantly funny, superbly self-aware without an ounce of pretention or self-pity - this is a woman who would have written a superlatively readable, smart, funny, engaging memoir no matter what the circumstances of her life might have been, simply because that's who she IS.
Character Development/Execution: An immensely relatable, fresh, vigorous voice that bursts off the page with energy and brio. Taylor is an incandescent embodiment of "badass," and readers’ hats will be off to her.
Blurb: An immensely relatable, fresh, vigorous voice that bursts off the page with energy and brio. It sounds odd to say that one enjoyed reading a memoir about a battle against breast cancer, but Taylor writes with such epic candor and hilarious turn of phrase that there's no other word for it.
Date Submitted: January 24, 2021