Naked Imperfection: A Memoir

Paperback | April 15, 2014

byGillian Deacon

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What if you’re doing everything right—living a healthy, virtuous, conscientious life— and something goes terribly wrong?

Gillian Deacon was the paragon of virtue, the standard-bearer for how to live responsibly on  the earth. So when the all-natural vegetarian yogi and runner mother of  three young boys was diagnosed with cancer, the world stopped making sense.

In an increasingly perilous environment, the promise of order amidst chaos is so tantalizing.  Every busy woman will recognize herself in Gill’s striving—if we just get through  our to-do list of achievements and improvements, we can get our lives under control …  can’t we? The illusion of perfection is a powerful motivator, propelling so many of us at  a breakneck pace toward somewhere other than where we are right now. But as  only a brush with death can teach us, Gill learns the folly of believing we are in control.  Readers will be inspired to appreciate the ragged imperfection of right now and learn to  find glimpses of gratitude in every moment of any day.

Naked Imperfection is an unforgettable personal story of courage and triumph.

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From the Publisher

What if you’re doing everything right—living a healthy, virtuous, conscientious life— and something goes terribly wrong? Gillian Deacon was the paragon of virtue, the standard-bearer for how to live responsibly on  the earth. So when the all-natural vegetarian yogi and runner mother of  three young boys was diagnosed with cancer, t...

Award-winning broadcaster Gillian  Deacon is one of Canada’s best-known environmental writers and host of Here & Now (Toronto) on CBC Radio One.  She is the author of the bestsellers  There’s Lead in Your Lipstick and Green for  Life . Gillian lives in Toronto with her husband and their three sons.

other books by Gillian Deacon

There's Lead In Your Lipstick: Toxins In Our Everyday Body Care And How To Avoid Them
There's Lead In Your Lipstick: Toxins In Our Everyday B...

Paperback|Dec 28 2010

$19.52 online$26.00list price(save 24%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2014Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143188518

ISBN - 13:9780143188513

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Customer Reviews of Naked Imperfection: A Memoir

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from An honest look at unexpected cancer... Gill Deacon gives us a great look into her experience with being diagnosed with breast cancer. I sought this book out after finding out that a family member had cancer, of another origin. Gill described in great detail and frank honesty her feelings of being terrified to being angry and finally acceptance. I love her insight and words of wisdom about what cancer can do for you in the face of adversity. I didn't want her book to end. I enjoyed all of her meaningful, heartwarming and humorous connections to cancer. Not only is Gill Deacon a celebrity on tv and radio, she is also a mom,wife, daughter, sister, friend and environmentalist. She got dealt a rotten hand with cancer, but made the best of it, and is now a survivor.
Date published: 2014-05-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An inspiring read A lovely book that shows how illusory control really is and how important gratitude for things big and small can be.
Date published: 2014-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read it if you are a woman, or know one All the time you're reading, you feel like you are sharing a story that is two parts personal and one part universal: Gill explores the bargains we make in survival mode, the strengths we find, and the weaknesses we permit or can't resist. She does this with a gentle touch, there are never more tears than laughs. Ultimately, it is a story about gratitude and connections: with family, the earth and, especially, friends.
Date published: 2014-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'd like to give this book to every woman I know. I adored this book. I love Gill Deacon’s writing style: full of fresh insight, wit, lush images and personal stories. She takes my hand and guides me through her life affirming journey, making me evaluate my own life and priorities. I couldn’t put it down: I laughed, I cried. Totally recommend.
Date published: 2014-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Striking, honest, insightful Gill Deacon takes a clear, honest, and fearless look at the quest for perfection that was her birthright, and the imperfections (both inevitable and, in the case of cancer, entirely unexpected) that are thrust upon her. While this striking and thoughtful memoir is anchored by Deacon's breast cancer experience, the insights it offers are relevant to anyone who grapples with how to live thoughtfully and ethically within a challenging and unpredictable world. It is moving and very personal, yet never cloying or sentimental — a winning combination.
Date published: 2014-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from naked imperfection Its a credit to Gillian's storytelling style that you quickly find yourself reading this book from cover to cover. The author faces every woman's fear with determination, humour and the same level of focus that she brings to all other parts of her day to day. She shares with us an intimate journey which ultimately leads her to re-evaluate the importance and meaning of "perfection" in her life. This isn't a "cancer" book but a celebration of spirit, family and community.
Date published: 2014-03-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Naked Imperfection Congratulations to Gillian Deacon on her wonderful, soul-baring memoir of cancer survivor club membership.  Naked Imperfection cemented for me the twin concepts that membership is life-altering‎ and that each of us reluctant members muddles through, reflexively and rationally, as best we can. There is no universal,, evidence-based approach to respond to the myriad physical and emotional assaults that membership entails. Everyone must find their own path. And whatever that individual path entails, is unassailably correct. And yet there are also universal truths: the love of family and friends is the most important ‎arrow in the quiver of  members, more important than surgeons or chemotherapy or radiation. Love of family and friends translates directly into hope which buttresses determination. It is, indeed, worth the loss of the sense of control (it was all illusory, in any event) a body part, dignity, privacy, to stay here to breathe in that love. Joy and wonder are magnified. Though, sadly for some, so too are anxiety and dread of loss. An excellent and timely reminder: club membership is increasing. 
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Naked Imperfection Gillian's voice tells us the story of 'the Cancer chapter' of her life, but we learn more about living than we do about illness. Her reflections and poignant metaphors will ring bells of recognition for many contemporary moms. Gill wears big shoes but is modest and self deprecating. No doubt, you will identify with her search.
Date published: 2014-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful, raw and inspiring memoir. A must, must-read. Gill Deacon’s stark honesty will bring you to your knees.  She weaves words effortlessly -- from the beautifully poetic to the spiritually searing.  Naked Imperfection is a book about cancer and not about cancer at all.  If you are a woman living, loving and striving to make sense of the seemingly  randomness of life, you will see yourself exposed in her words.  There is no running from life when you read this memoir.  It requires you to take a sharp and meaningful look at how you are living your days on this Earth.  Gill Deacon stands naked before us, perfectly imperfect. 
Date published: 2014-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Naked Imperfection is wise and moving When Gill Deacon finds a lump, she chooses "instead of fear, to approach the tests with the pragmatic pluck of the over-achieving first-born". The tests deliver bad news. But Gill's lively and moving account of her harrowing journey with breast cancer is far from a downer. As she investigates an amazing world of cures and balms, hospitals and therapists, Gill Deacon also takes us on a blunt journey of self-assessment with insights and observations that continue to resonate deeply. This is a wise memoir, highly recommended. 
Date published: 2014-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A personal story beautifully told This book is a lovely introspective look at the randomness of life and the struggle for control and meaning. Gill uses her wit and smart, insightful observations on the world we live in to bring her personal journey to life. The story is open and honest, leaving us with much to think about.
Date published: 2014-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read Gill is a great story teller; self-deprecating, funny, and irreverent. She takes us along on her journey through breast cancer with an honest account of her experiences and emotions and she doesn’t shy away from the hard parts. The book has beautiful images and clever metaphors which make it a pleasure to read. In the end, there are probably more questions than answers in the book but these are universal questions that we can all relate to. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2014-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Packed With Insight Beautifully written and poignantly told, Naked Imperfection is packed with insight, humour and wisdom.  It made me laugh and weep and think.
Date published: 2014-02-25

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Editorial Reviews

“Gill Deacon's memoir is the story of a young mother who endures a harrowing illness and finds her way to a truth we all need to understand. Her record of loss and discovery is offered with such wit and grace and tender reflection that she kept me reading through the night and reaching for it in the morning. This is a fierce life, beautifully examined, and not to be missed.” - Linda Spalding, award-winning author of The Purchase"Beautifully written and poignantly told, Naked Imperfection is packed with insight, humour and wisdom. It made me laugh and weep and think.” - Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls"Imperfection has never looked so good. Gill Deacon has taken her experience with breast cancer and turned it into a universal parable for our times. A moving and original memoir." - Don Gillmor, award-winning writer and author of Mount Pleasant"A fearless and funny book about cancer and survival that dissects the assumptions behind our toxin-fed, health-obsessed culture along the way, uncovering a core truth – that a great deal of our anxiety about the state of the planet is a proxy for the existential terror borne of own utter lack of control over our own fate. It is to Gill Deacon's credit as a storyteller that such a dark journey seems almost whimsical in her recounting." - Chris Turner, author of The War on Science and The Leap