Skip to main content




March 29, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Professor recalls cancer challenges

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Carmen Rabell, author and professor of comparative literature at the University of Puerto Rico, will explain how she had to learn speak again after brain surgery when she visits Slippery Rock University April 3.

Rabell's address, sponsored by SRU's department of modern languages and cultures, will be at 5 p.m. in 105 Vincent Science Center.

RABELL Her latest book "Chronicles on How to Kill Cancer" has been described by one reviewer as "fascinating" particularity in the "natural way by which it moves between genres: chronicles, autobiography, collection of letters and stories, essays, reflections and much more."

"Due to a brain cancer diagnosis in the left temporal lobe that controls language, Rabell takes readers by the hand in order to navigate an intricate labyrinth of emotions, scientific facts, her dealings with health insurance companies and even the noisy televisions at doctor's offices in Puerto Rico, during a period of four years between the last days of December 2007 and April 2011."

"Both humor and serious reflections dominate the ways Carmen presents to us her experience with cancer," wrote Daniel Torres of Ohio University. " The first part of the book is made out of emails sent to her friends and family from 2007 to 2011, and a detailed and vibrant description of her diagnosis along with the long treatment to which she was subjected. The second part of the book is made out of all entries from her blog (, and the book closes with a moving epilogue."

Rabell earned her doctorate and masters degrees in comparative literature at Columbia University and has conducted post-doctoral research in medieval and renaissance law and fiction at The Ohio State University. She also earned a doctorate and masters degree in Hispanic languages and literatures at State University of New York at Stony Brook. She earned her bachelor of science in general science at the University of Puerto Rico.

In addition to teaching at the University of Puerto, she has taught at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Pittsburgh, Columbia University and SUNY-Stony Brook.

She has received grants and support from the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship; Dorothy Danforth Compton Fellowship; and the W. Burghardt Turner Research Fellowship at State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.