LOPSIDED debuted in June 2008 at #5 on The San Francisco Chronicle’s Non-Fiction Bestseller List.
“Norton is one plucky dame, and she displays a sharp eye for the human condition. Her challenging, awkward encounters — with doctors, nurses, even with well-meaning but clueless sympathizers — all have the ring of truth. Norton calls herself a storyteller, and the tale she has crafted from a life-altering event is indeed hard to put down.”
“What can you say about a writer like this, except that she’s fresh and adorable, and you hope she sticks around to produce at least another dozen, surly, lovely books?”
OPRAH WINFREY’S O MAGAZINE (Michelle Owens)
“There has not been a funnier, more honest cancer account in recent memory.”
PEOPLE MAGAZINE (Danielle Trussoni)
“Norton exploits herself for humor beautifully … but it is Norton’s own narrative that really compels.”
SUNDAY MAIL (Bribane, Australia)
“Norton’s engrossing memoir is droll and sometimes prickly. She slips in her insights quietly, with novelistic precision.”
“Funny and poignant moments gracefully intertwined.”
COLUMBIA COLLEGE TODAY (Maryam Parhizkar)
“This is the first hilarious, irreverent, self-pity-free memoir of a breast cancer survivor that we’ve come across in ages. Entertaining and inspiring.”
COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE (Australia)
“Norton [offers an] assured tone, keen eye and dry wit. I hope to encounter this clear, incisive, highly amusing voice again. Soon.”
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL (Chauncey Mabe)
More reviews on Lopsided:
“A hilarious and wickedly irreverent look at life with cancer.
“Lopsided is not your ordinary cancer memoir. Meredith Norton chronicles every step of her experience, starting with her bizarre symptoms while living in Paris to moving back home to California and living with her compulsive parents and their five television sets. Irreverent and incredibly funny, Norton rails against self-pity and victimhood and rants about the innumerable copies of Lance Armstrong’s cancer survival book pressed on her by well-meaning family and friends.
“Alongside the harrowing portrait of her treatments, Norton offers equally amusing memories from her offbeat life. We see her childhood time during a somewhat racist ski trip, a family reunion at a Florida alligator farm, and her life in a tree house with a neighbor, who, despite being vegan, hates mice enough to taxidermy them into miniature versions of racecar drivers, Jesus, a UPS delivery man, and Sally Jesse Raphael.
“Like David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, Norton’s razor-sharp wit is at once riotous and excruciating. Lopsided is the remarkable debut of a masterful humorist.”
Barnes and Noble.com
“With more gross-outs than a Judd Apatow comedy, Lopsided: How Having Breast Cancer Can Be Really Distracting (Viking) is nonetheless a truly elegant memoir, thanks to the rigor of author Meredith Norton, who has never seen the situation that she doesn’t find absurd. Being diagnosed with a deadly form of breast cancer in her early 30s, while living in Paris with her French husband and year-old son, is no exception.
“A cynic and self-deprecating clown, Norton is terrific at narrating the physical slapstick of battling this disease. But she’s even better on the arrogance and pretense the cancer reveals, whether that of the four French doctors too full of themselves to look at her tumor-filled breast or her own dilettantish self.
‘There we were,’ she concludes at the end of the 20-month ordeal she and her husband endured, ‘with the same annoying habits and bad manners, ungrateful, pessimistic, undisciplined, and bored. We were just as mediocre as when this whole drama began.’
Ungrateful, pessimistic, undisciplined, bored. What can you say about a writer like this, except that she’s fresh and adorable, and you hope she sticks around to produce at least another dozen surly, lovely books?”
Oprah Winfrey’s O MAGAZINE (Michelle Owens) – July 2008
“An African-American married to a Frenchman and living in Paris, Norton was misdiagnosed by four French doctors before learning during a visit to her parents in California that she had inflammatory breast cancer.
“Over the course of the next 20 months, she underwent chemotherapy and suffered the attendant baldness, hot flashes, rashes and fatigue; then she had a mastectomy, a course of radiation and more chemotherapy.
“Into the gut-wrenching details of these treatments, the feisty author splices a kaleidoscope of delightful anecdotes: growing up in an affluent family under the scrutiny of an intellectually demanding father; sharing a tree house with a novice taxidermist after college; her misadventures as a public schoolteacher; the stresses of life in Paris as a young wife and mother of a toddler.
“She also includes a scene in Tangier, where she blocked her dentist’s attempt to pull out her broken front teeth and then filed down the jagged edges herself. Norton is one plucky dame, and she displays a sharp eye for the human condition.
“Her challenging, awkward encounters — with doctors, nurses, even with well-meaning but clueless sympathizers — all have the ring of truth. Rejecting the model of super-survivor Lance Armstrong with his ‘excessive drive and talent,’ the author indulged in Krispy Kreme donuts, counted on friends and family to pull her through and took long naps.
“When she was sick, she was very sick, and she leaves no doubt how awful her experience was. Norton calls herself a storyteller, and the tale she has crafted from a life-altering event is indeed hard to put down.”
Kirkus Review - April 2008
“Norton was in her midthirties, living in Paris with her French husband and toddler and suffering odd symptoms that French doctors dismissed. Visiting her parents in California, her lopsided breasts’ appearance caused her usually underreacting mother to insist she see a doctor.
“Within hours, Norton had seen the ob-gyn, two surgeons, ‘gotten a skin biopsy, had an ultrasound and mammogram, been scheduled for a stereotactic needle biopsy, and [been] wished a nice weekend.’
Diagnosed with virulent cancer and given a 40 percent chance of survival, she managed to maintain a breezy wit while surviving chemotherapy and attendant baldness, mastectomy, radiation treatments, and the ministrations of her African American family, with its five blaring TV sets and discussion of everything except sex, money, and feelings.
“Such observations as, about her son, ‘his first trip to the beach might be my last’ and about her ovaries’ death from chemo provoking ‘not the upset where you sniffle and cry, but the ghetto-style upset where you burn down someone’s check-cashing business’ crackle with heartfelt intensity and irreverence.”
BOOKLIST Review (Whitney Scott) - May 2008