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Author Sophie Kinsella reveals that she’s had brain cancer since 2022: ‘All is stable’

Author Sophie Kinsella smiles while wearing  a white dress with red blossoms on it
Sophie Kinsella says she held off on publicly sharing her glioblastoma diagnosis so her five children could “adapt to our ‘new normal.’”
(Rosdiana Ciaravolo / Getty Images)
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Bestselling author Sophie Kinsella revealed Wednesday that she was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2022 and since then has undergone surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to treat the aggressive disease.

The “Confessions of a Shopaholic” series scribe, whose real name is Madeleine Sophie Wickham, held off on publicly sharing her glioblastoma diagnosis so that her five children could “adapt to our ‘new normal,’” she said in a statement on her website and social media.

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“I’ve wanted for a long time to share with you a health update and I’ve been waiting for the strength to do so. At the end of 2022 I was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of aggressive brain cancer,” the novelist wrote. “I did not share this before because I wanted to make sure that my children were able to hear and process the news in privacy and adapt to our ‘new normal.’”

The 50-year-old said she has been cared for by an “excellent team” at University College Hospital in London and has had “successful surgery and subsequent radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which is still ongoing.”

“At the moment all is stable and I am feeling generally very well, though I get very tired and my memory is even worse than it was before!” she added.

The “chick lit” icon, who is married to her business manager, Henry Wickham, also offered thanks to her family and close friends for supporting her, and to the doctors and nurses who treated her. She then turned her attention to her readers.

Hollywood make-believe crashes into real life in ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’

Feb. 3, 2009

“I am also so grateful to my readers for your constant support. The wonderful response to THE BURNOUT has really buoyed me up, during a difficult time,” she wrote, referring to the romance novel that she published in October.

“To everyone who is suffering from cancer in any form I send love and best wishes, as well as to those who support them. It can feel very lonely and scary to have a tough diagnosis, and the support and care of those around you means more than words can say,” she wrote, promising to “be in touch soon” and sharing a photo of herself wishing her friends “greetings from sunny London.”

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The prolific author has at least 35 titles to her name (and her pen name) and has sold more than 45 million copies of her books, according to her official biography. Her 2000 novel, “The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic” — known as “Confessions of a Shopaholic” in the U.S.) — follows financial journalist Rebecca Bloomwood and her compulsive shopping habit, which spawned eight sequels about Becky’s fantastical over-spending exploits. The first two titles in the series were adapted for film in 2009; the “Confessions of a Shopaholic” movie starred Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter and Joan Cusack.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has an undisclosed form of cancer. She announced the news online after months of speculation about her health and whereabouts.

March 22, 2024

The novel, loosely based on the author’s early days as a finance writer, was written after Kinsella published seven novels under her married name, Madeleine Wickham, according to publisher Penguin U.K. “Shopaholic” marked her first foray into romance with her famed nom de plume — a mash-up of her middle name and her mother’s maiden name.

She submitted “Shopaholic” to her Wickham publishers in secret and quietly enjoyed its massive success. She published two more installments under her pen name before revealing her identity to her publishers in 2003 during the release of her standalone novel “Can You Keep a Secret?,” which was adapted into a 2019 film starring Alexandra Daddario.

Kinsella’s 11 stand-alone novels include “The Undomestic Goddess” and “My Not So Perfect Life.” She has since released several children’s books, including the “Fairy Mom & Me” series and “Finding Audrey.”

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