Sophie Kinsella, "Shopaholic" book series author, reveals brain cancer

Sophie Kinsella, the English author whose best-selling “Shopaholic” book series gave way to a classic American rom-com, announced on Wednesday that she has been receiving treatment for a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer for well over a year. 

Kinsella, whose given name is Madeleine Wickham, shared the health update in a social media post that outlined her treatment plan and explained why she had decided before now to confront the illness outside of the public eye. The author said she was diagnosed at the end of 2022 with glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor that typically carries a poor prognosis as it often progresses quickly. But Kinsella told followers that she is “feeling generally very well” and described her current condition as stable, crediting a medical team at University College Hospital in London that has handled her care. 

“I did not share this before because I wanted to make sure that my children were able to hear and process the news in privacy and adapt to our ‘new normal,'” Kinsella said in the post. Kinsella has five children. 

Since her diagnosis, Kinsella said that she has undergone successful surgery followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which she is still receiving now. Surgery to remove as much of a brain tumor as possible is usually the first line of treatment after a glioblastoma is discovered, with at least one longer-term cancer therapy administered afterward, according to the Mayo Clinic.

On Wednesday, Kinsella thanked her medical team in addition to readers whose responses to her novel, “The Burnout,” published in October 2023, “buoyed [her] up, during a difficult time.”

Sophie Kinsella is photographed at a film festival in Rome, Italy, on Oct. 19, 2019.

Stefania D’Alessandro / Getty Images

I am so grateful to my family and close friends who have been an incredible support to me, and to the wonderful doctors and nurses who have treated me. I am also so grateful to my readers for your constant support,” she said. “To everyone who is suffering from cancer in any form I send love and best wishes, as well as to those who support them. It can feel very lonely and scary to have a tough diagnosis, and the support and care of those around you means more than words can say.”

Kinsella is best known for authoring the sensationally popular “Shopaholic” book series, which follows a financial journalist’s troubles managing her own budget as she confronts an obsession with purchasing. The novels themselves gained popularity across the globe, and her work attracted a particularly large following once the book series’ first two installments were adapted into the 2009 romantic-comedy film, “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” which starred Isla Fisher and Hugh Grant.

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