“Are you talking about that little thing there that you felt in the shower on your chest?” Here you are upset, anguished, downright freaked out, not knowing which breast to devote yourself to? “ The offbeat and humorous tone is given from the first lines of this atypical book and deliberately loaded with metaphors, designed as a travel guide to Lolo Land, destination for women affected by breast cancer. All the stages of this extraordinary road trip are discussed, from its preparations, including how to announce your trip, until your return, through the detailed routes of six potential routes: chemo, operation, radiotherapy, hormono, immuno, and a “charm and comfort route” for a complete recovery, a severe jetlag often being on this medical journey.
Practical information, sound advice and useful addresses abound in the work of Abelia Becker, herself engaged on the Lololand routes in 2019, and illustrated by the mountains of variegated breasts by Marie Assénat. Beneath its deceptively playful airs, this guide for a benefactress reading is an instructive and engaging travel companion, an alternative route to medical literature, often impractical and anxiety-provoking.
If the fact of relativizing can have good, one sometimes wonders if this excess of lightness does not produce the opposite effect of that expected. With a lot of metaphors and puns, this guide, which aims to make us forget the tragic, ends up giving it to us again on all the pages under the grimacing face of the farce: the “medesein”, the “sincerity”, the reconstruction of a Mount Lolaire, the Mastecto trek, the Tumorecto hike or even the “National Anti-Meteorite League” – in place of the National League against Cancer – that we meet on the way tarnish the common sense advice given with short sentences and supercharged, without unnecessary jargon.
It is of course a question of breast cancer, but there is hardly a page where the illustration of the spoilsport does not burst into the landscape: the breast sometimes turns into the sun, mushroom or roof of a mosque, he rises to the top of a hot-air balloon or a desert island, or lives inside a snowball … Under the pretext of taking a little distance from the painful subject in question here, we finish curiously enough to find it everywhere, including at the end of the book in the form of coloring!
“Lolo Land”, by Abelia Becker, illustrated by Marie Assénat. 192 pages, 22.90 euros (Editions La Martinière, October 7, 2021). editionsdelamartiniere.fr/livres/lolo-land