A smart, funny, brave, and devoted pop culture acolyte, writer/comedienne/member of US Weekly Fashion Police (!!!) Wendy Shanker first won us over with her wise and witty 2004 book The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life, which explores the complex reality of being a healthy, plus-sized woman in a world that doesn’t always encourage self-acceptance.
Out today: Shanker’s new memoir Are You My Guru?: How Medicine, Meditation & Madonna Saved My Life, chronicles an intense eight-year period during which the author was diagnosed with a rare and debilitating autoimmune disease, Wegener’s granulomatosis. While holding down a demanding job, Shanker seeks relief and guidance from medical experts and healers representing a variety of traditions, from the hardcore pharmacological to the ancient Ayurvedic.
As Shanker begins to trust her own instincts about which therapies will work for her, she learns how to cope with the stresses of the disease and a hectic New York lifestyle — and discovers a thing or two about what it really means to heal. The narrative is laced with references to her ultimate guru, Madonna, as Shanker covers the topic of serious illness with the same forthrightness, attention to detail, and laugh-out-loud humor that made her first book such a refreshing read.
The delightful Shanker spoke with BreakupGirl.net about her memoir:
Who do you hope to reach with this book?
Um, Madonna. (laughs) I assume she’ll never even know it exists, but if it does cross her path, I hope she’ll get a kick out of it.