Also available from
The Big J vs The Big C
Issues, Experiences and Poems
in the Battle Against Breast Cancer
prose & poetry
ISBN 978-1-9161479-1-1 | 134pp | 2019
rrp £10.00 | ebook £6.99 | audiobook £12.00
Poet, author and activist Janine Booth was part of the ranting poetry movement of the eighties, performing as 'The Big J'. In late 2016, she discovered a strange indentation in her right breast and was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer.
In this collection of candid journal extracts, poetry, meticulous research and substantive politics, Janine details her journey from detection and diagnosis, through surgery, to "getting over it".
"Some people say that the term 'fighting cancer' is too aggressive. But I did not go looking for this fight. Cancer started it. If I was fighting cancer, then it was only because cancer picked a fight with me. I plead self-defence."
"This book is a must for all health care workers - doctors, nurses, students, caterers, cleaners, porters - the team needed by patients facing The Big C." - Dr Coral Jones, GP & Chair Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party
"A veritable paean to our (still free) National Health Service. Together with the added bonus of some fascinating political background and an insider's guide to terms. With poetry!" - Rhoda Dakar, songwriter, musician & activist
"Open, honest, entertaining, informative, but most of all a bloody good read!" - Michelle Rodgers, RMT National President
"I picked up this book expecting to be educated, entertained and amused. I put it down having ticked all of those boxes. The NHS is quite literally the best thing there is in the entire world. We must never stop fighting for it." - Kate Smurthwaite, comedian & activist
"I share many things with Janine - a long term friendship, politics, poetry and, yes, a cancer diagnosis. Her words encourage and motivate, and her optimism and energy in the face of adversity is an inspiration. Buy this!" - Attila the Stockbroker, poet & musician
"The book is so bloody good she deserves the first ever Booby Prize for Literature … full of clarity, worry, humour, explanations about how capitalism hampers medical practice and love, praise and commitment to the NHS. It demystifies and humanises the cancer experience and inspires and entertains the reader." - Morning Star
"Janine's openness, humour and honesty, combined with her poetic sensibility, leads us by the hand through her experience with cancer. Although her manner is often matter of fact, the effect at times is to leave us breathless on her behalf and on behalf of all women facing such a challenge." - Henry Normal, poet, writer & producer
Full review at Write Out Loud.
Includes a Foreword by Kate Smurthwaite.
Cover by Brink, photos by the author & Natansky.