Laura Zigman: Notes on Her Breast Cancer Blog

Beth Brophy Health Guide
  • The novelist Laura Zigman has a blog (, which among other things, discusses her recent breast cancer surgery and recovery. Zigman, author of four novels, is best known for her best-seller Animal Husbandry, a very funny book about the dating life of a young New York woman who works in publishing, which according to her blog is “thinly-disguised autobiography.” It was turned into a movie starring Ashley Judd, called Someone Like You, which, in my opinion, didn’t capture the charm of the book.

    Several months ago, just before starting her book tour for her latest novel, Piece of Work, Zigman was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and tram flap, which she relates in detail in her blog, along with her observations about cancer and life.
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    I find Zigman’s blog a mixed bag. At her best, she’s funny, the kind of friend you can sit and gossip and laugh with for a few hours. But, a little of her goes a long way.

    I like her breast “brants." Zigman defines a brant as “a shared on-line journal where people can post brags and rants about themselves and their personal experiences, opinions, observations, and feelings.” Generally, these postings are informative and could be helpful to women undergoing the same experiences. She mentions living near the “Bermuda Triangle” of good medical care in Boston, which includes Harvard Medical School and other brand name institutions, and I agree with her that newly diagnosed women should seek out multiple opinions about their treatment, even if it means they have to travel a bit to seek out the best doctors.

    Aside from her breast cancer postings, Zigman's general topic brants can seem a little self-absorbed and are not as interesting to me. As bloggers, by definition, we all run the risk of being called self-absorbed. Indeed, what could be more self-absorbed than frequently posting your thoughts about a wide range of topics? But, sometimes, Zigman’s musings on “adolescent lettuce,” the high price of cereal, and her failed attempts to cook dinner for her family, for example, are easily skippable, at least to me. That said, judge for yourself.

    A caveat: Zigman's blog is accompanied by very annoying music, and although you can click “music off,” it may take a long time to shut off, depending on your Internet connection.
Published On: February 27, 2007