Marian Fontana has been a writer and performer for over twenty-five years.

As a writer, her articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Salon.com, The Guardian and more. Her memoir, A Widows Walk was published by Simon and Schuster and was as the Top Ten Great Reads of 2005 by People magazine and the Washington Post’s Book Raves of 2005. A Widows Walk was on the New York Times best selling biography list and was nominated for a Books for A Better Life Award.


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O is for Oncologist

July 8th, 2014

I met my oncologist as a cartoon in the graphic memoir, Cancer Vixen.  In the cartoon version, Dr. Paula Klein is blonde and glamorous and wears Manolo Blahnik heels with her white lab coat.  In person, Paula is dirty blonde and wears flats.  Every three months, I visit Paula and go through the rituals required of breast cancer.  

(See letter M)

“Hi how are you?”  I always say.

“How do you think I am? I work in[...]

N is for Nuptials

May 15th, 2014

N is for Nuptial

When my late husband and I got engaged, Dave announced he wanted to get married in a Catholic Church.   Since Dave and I never went to church and agreed that religion seemed like an excuse for people to boss other people around, I was surprised.  Even more shocking was that he insisted on a full nuptial mass, the Roman Catholic equivalent of the director’s cut.  I shuddered at the thought of my[...]

M is for Mammaries

April 1st, 2014

I like my boobs.

I used to hate them.

When I was ten, my breasts started to grow at an alarming pace.  While my friend’s sported small nubs under white t-shirts, my breasts swelled in time lapse photography. I was an avid gymnast and was deeply perplexed how my top heavy center of gravity was effecting me. I slipped off the beam, slid off the uneven parallel bars and fell over the vault, angry at my new[...]

L is for Lying

February 27th, 2014

Last year, my New Years resolution was to stop lying.  I wasn’t Bernie Madoff or anything but I realized I had gotten in the habit of telling little white ones here and there usually to prevent people’s feelings from being hurt.  Saying “I can’t make it to your party.  I have tickets to the theater” seems a lot nicer than “I’d rather poke my eye with a toothpick than listen to your husband talk about[...]

K is for Karma

January 29th, 2014

            I remember sitting at a dinner party in my mid-twenties. My sister was regaling the table with the story of my subway accident.  The person sitting next to me at the table turned to me and said, “You have bad karma.”

Karma, in Sanskrit, means “deed” and is the Buddhist and Hindu concept that a good or bad deed has a cause and effect.   So, according to my dinner companion’s[...]



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