The Word



William Brock
Photos de William Brock et Angela Boismenu


192 pages / mai 2023

This book is a tribute to the courage, strength and dignity of people who have been affected by cancer, and of the families and friends who supported them and have sadly often suffered great loss. This book has its genesis in a speech I gave to a cancer support group in the summer of 2014. On my way there, I was reflecting on how transformative cancer can be, not only in terms of one’s health and life, but also in terms of one’s life after cancer. Cancer is much more than an illness, it’s an existential crisis, and those afflicted never lose sight of that. I hardly know anyone affected by cancer who doesn’t think of it daily. Some, unfortunately, become obsessed by it.

I imagined that if we could distill their thinking to a single word, we could communicate their hard-earned wisdom, as well as their hope and inspiration. I explained my new-found project to my audience and invited them to send me their words. I received many responses, some are the material of this book. It was apparent to me not only that people could share their innermost thoughts, but that they wanted to. Cancer was not just a scourge, it could also be a life lesson.

This book has been a wonderful endeavour for me. In taking these portraits over a period of almost three years, I was privileged to interact with the courageous and thoughtful people you will meet in these pages. Individuals, parents and children, and husbands and wives, in some cases experiencing cancer together. We shared stories of illness and hardship, ups and downs, recoveries and relapses, shattered hopes and continuing dreams. I consider it a great privilege to have shared hours with these extraordinary people whom I now call my friends. These are portraits of hope, courage and gratitude, but at the same time of pain, fear and anxiety. They co-exist, two sides of the same coin. - William Brock

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ISBN : 978-2-7606-4245-4

60,00 $ / 54,00 €