Sophie Kinsella's drama: “I have brain cancer”


By John

An “aggressive” brain cancer, diagnosed a year and a half ago. It's the nightmare he has to deal with Sophie Kinsellaprolific English writer of best sellers translated all over the world, according to what she herself wanted to reveal today to public opinion and to her many readers in a message which shows a drive for courage stronger than fear and a profoundly understatement British: filtered by sensitivity towards one's family and by a fearless desire for “normality”, despite everything. The 53-year-old author, mother of 5 children, explained that she had to face the most feared diagnosis in the last months of 2022, that she underwent surgery and underwent cycles of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. But that he preferred to maintain the strictest confidentiality up until now, to give his children time to process things. Except now he decides to share this drama with the outside world as a gesture of respect towards his community of fans and solidarity towards other sufferers: in the name of a choice made in the past by quite a few other celebrities and recently – in an unprecedented form for court standards – even from members of the British royal family, from 75-year-old King Charles III to the 42-year-old Princess of Wales, Kate, wife of heir to the throne William.

«I have wanted to share an update on my health with you for a long time – Kinsella wrote on social media – and I was waiting for the strength to do so. In late 2022, I was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of aggressive brain cancer. I didn't communicate this sooner because I wanted to make sure my children were able to hear and process this news in privacy and adjust to our new normal.” The popular writer, whose real name is Madeleine Sophie Townley (Wickham when married) addressed her “dear readers and followers” directly – millions of them are anxious at this time – ensuring that she is being followed in her treatment by specialists from the prestigious University College Hospital in London. “At the moment everything is stable and in general I feel very well – she continued – although I feel very tired and my memory is even worse than before! I am so grateful to my family and my closest friends who help me they were very supportive, as were the wonderful doctors and nurses who treated me. I am also very grateful to my readers for their constant support.” Referring to the most recent of her works, published in 2023, and therefore after the diagnosis, she I underline how «the wonderful response (of the public) to the novel The Burnout» has «really encouraged her, in a difficult moment». Finally, Kinsella did not fail to address a thought to all those who suffer from cancer: «To them I send love and best wishes, as well as to those who support them. Receiving a difficult diagnosis can make you feel very alone and scared, the support and care of those around you mean more than words can say.” An economics graduate from Oxford, and a financial journalist for a short time before dedicating herself to romantic fiction from the age of 24, the English author, born in the London suburb of Wandsworth on 12 December 1970, achieved global fame – after her publication with her real name of some debut romance novels already appreciated in bookstores – with I Love Shopping (The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic), written under a pseudonym in 2000 and with the subsequent I Love Shopping in New York (Shopaholic Abroad). Books which were followed by eight further titles in the 'Shopaholic' series (I Love Shopping in the Italian version); as well as 12 novels unrelated to this cycle: from Can You Keep a Secret? (Can you keep a secret?), from 2003, to I'm exhausted (Burnout), from last year, all translated into Italy by Mondadori. Married since 1991 to Henry Wickham, her classmate at Oxford, the writer lives with him and their 5 children between Dorset, in the south-west of England, and London.