'Shopaholic' author Sophie Kinsella announces new book after brain cancer diagnosis

Kinsella is battling glioblastoma, a cancerous and aggressive brain tumor.

June 12, 2024, 11:32 AM

The author of the popular "Shopaholic" book series has announced a new novel that will be published just months after she announced she had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, a cancerous and aggressive brain tumor.

Sophie Kinsella's newly announced book, titled "What Does It Feel Like?", is described as a "deeply personal novella" that focuses on an author, Eve, who is facing a devastating cancer diagnosis, according to the book's publisher, Dial Press, part of Penguin Random House.

Kinsella described the book, to be published in October, as her "most autobiographical work to date."

"Eve's story is my story," the author said in a statement shared by Dial Press. "Why did I write such a personal book? I have always processed my life through writing. Hiding behind my fictional characters, I have always turned my own life into a narrative. It is my version of therapy, maybe. Writing is my happy place, and writing this book, although tough going at times, was immensely satisfying and therapeutic for me."

In April, Kinsella revealed in a statement shared on social media that she had been diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2022. She wrote that she waited to share the diagnosis publicly to give her children time to adapt to the family's "new normal."

Kinsella, whose birth name is Madeleine Wickham, said at the time that she was undergoing chemotherapy after already completing radiation and surgery at University College Hospital in London.

Sophie Kinsella attends the photocall of the movie "Can You Keep A Secret?" on Oct. 19, 2019 in Rome.
Stefania D'alessandro/Getty Images

Glioblastoma is considered a rare but "very aggressive" form of cancer that develops from a type of brain cell known as an astrocyte, according to the U.S. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.

Symptoms of the cancer can include headache, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness, according to the center.

Treatments are available, but there is no known cure for the glioblastoma, and the exact underlying cause is typically unknown. It is the same type of cancer that claimed the life of longtime senator and former presidential candidate John McCain in 2018.

In announcing her own diagnosis in April, Kinsella offered her support to others affected by cancer.

"I know that some of you are going through a similar disease, or your loved one is, or you're just going through some hardship at the moment, and I share in that. We'll get through it together," she wrote on social media.

Kinsella's books have sold over 45 million copies, according to her website. Her first book in the Shopaholic series, "The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic," was published in 2000.

The series was later turned into a movie, "Confessions of a Shopaholic," starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy, which was produced by Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Kinsella's most recent book, "The Burnout," was published in October last year.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABC News and "Good Morning America."