About the Author
Antoinette Truglio Martin is a life-long Long Islander, teacher, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. She is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer—a memoir chronicling her first year battling breast cancer as a wimpy patient.
Personal experience essays and excerpts of her memoir were published in Bridges, Visible Ink, and The Southampton Review. Martin proudly received her MFA in creative writing and literature from Stony Brook/Southampton University in 2016.
Antoinette had also written the children's picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup (Albert Whitman and Company), and was a regular columnist for local periodicals Parent Connections (In a Family Way) and Fire Island Tide (Beach Bumming). Her blog, Stories Served Around The Table, tells family tales and life's musings. She lives in her hometown of Sayville, New York with her husband, Matt, and is never far from her “Everyone” and the beaches she loves.
Since being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2012, she strives to not let cancer to dictate her life. Follow her at Facebook and her website.
In the past I've shared a review for Elaine W. Miller's book, Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo. When I saw this book available for review, I signed up. As the caregiver to more family than one should have to care and say goodbye to in a life time, authors like Elaine and Antoinette are encouraging - they firsthand stories of being survivors and fighters, offering hope to others in this battlefield and their caregivers.
Antoinette's book is written in journal format for the most part, as she shares emails between her and "My Everyone" as she calls her support network. I'm a fan of diary type books like the Diary of Anne Frank or the Dear America series, so I related to Antoinette's real and personal accounts in the midst of her journey.
The love and bond between she and her daughters brought tears to my eyes and also had me laughing out loud. The honest connection and feelings shared are a tribute to the foundation she and her husband instilled in their family and all who knew them. One of the funniest parts is when Antoinette wants to try marijuana as a treatment and reaches out to her daughters and their response left Antoinette with this, "I had to admit, I did not expect such seamless resources and enthusiasm."
The subtitle of the book, "A year of community, courage, and cancer" is a perfect summary of one woman's journey through the unknown with her "everyone" by her side every step of the way. As Antoinette shares the emails and the commentary between each, I felt like I was sitting in her living room sharing a cup of tea and brownies with her.
This is a personal and heartfelt memoir of hope and encouragement for those going through a difficult and challenging journey, helping us to remember to go through and not get stuck in the pain and disease.
Thank you Antoinette, and thanks to all who took time to learn more about this great book.
During 2017's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, She Writes Press published Antoinette Truglio Martin’s touching memoir, Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. It is a 2017 USA Best Book Awards Finalist in Non-Fiction: Narrative and a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Finalist: Non-Fiction Women's Issues.
In 2007, Martin believed her call back doctor appointment was routine, maybe a scare, nothing worse. Her shock at receiving a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis was instantly compounded by her own deep fears. As a self-described wimp—afraid of needles and uncomfortable with sedation—how was she going to get through this?
Antoinette started her fight against cancer with words. She began by journaling and by writing emails to Her Everyone—the large close-knit family and circle of beloved friends wanting to offer their support, especially those who were fighting breast cancer alongside her. The emails not only helped to keep Her Everyone informed, they gave cancer less of a presence in Antoinette’s life, since she wasn’t repeatedly updating people or saying the word “cancer” over and over. The practice of writing calmed her and also gave her space to focus on living: on the house that wasn’t selling, an exciting new job, daughters in college, and summer beach plans. She signed every email with the reminder to “hug everyone you know.”
Those emails and journal entries are at the heart of this memoir, which gives the book an immediacy and raw power.
Hug Everyone You Know is a memoir about how Antoinette found the courage to navigate her first year of breast cancer treatment. It’s the story of how a community—colleagues, family, friends—rallied to support her. The book is moving, brave, informative, and occasionally funny—and it speaks to us all.
Other Blogs Featuring Antoinette's New Book
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