Saturday, August 05, 2006

Review: My One-Night Stand with Cancer

Tania Katan. My One-Night Stand with Cancer
Published by Alyson
Reviewed by Nina Rapi

I first came across Tania Katan’s writing in an anthology of monologues by women, where we shared its pages. I was struck by her quirky, witty, staccato style in a story about obsessive, fetishistic desire and a launderette. In My One-Night Stand the content is hugely different, but the style - the same. Therein lies its beauty.

Tania Katan has had breast cancer twice: first when she was twenty one and then again ten years later. She had both her breasts removed. Yet Katan carries these battle scars with gusto. She goes clubbing, has sex, takes part in 10k runs, writes furiously instead of caving in after operations, chemo and possible future death sentences (being a BRCA-1 gene carrier). This woman chooses life at every turn, and that is what makes her a survivor. She writes about her experiences with style and panache, insight and compassion, never indulging in sentimentality. She is a damn good writer.

This is not a book just about cancer. It’s about humour, fucked-up girlfriends, self-image, dysfunctional but loving families, writing, clubbing, Jewishness, choices, fighting back, friendship and finally real love. Read and be inspired!


Nina Rapi is a playwright, teacher, performer and a damn good writer. Her story "Foreigner" appears in Chroma, Issue 1.

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