Widow who wrote about superhero husband's cancer fight has book coming out


"It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is cool too)" are the words Minnesota native Nora McInerny Purmort lives by.

It's the title of the her memoir, which will be released on May 24.

In 2011, Purmort began tracing her husband Aaron's journey with brain cancer, and how it affected their family, on her blog My Husband’s Tumor.

"It's not a cancer story, it's a love story. With some cancer," reads the blog's description. Her posts are candid, eloquently worded, and sprinkled with humor.

For her new book, Purmort is holding a launch party at Bauhaus Brewlabs in Minneapolis, and will be signing copies at the Mall of America on May 26. Tickets for her book reading at Open Book in Minneapolis sold out after an hour of going on sale, according to Nora's Twitter.

The book is on Buzzfeed's list of "5 Great Books to Read in May."

A hardcover copy can be preordered on Amazon. It can also be purchased on Barnes and NobleGoogle Play and indieBound. There are already four copies of the book in Little Free Libraries around Minneapolis:


The Purmorts gained national attention in 2014, when Aaron suffered a seizure while behind the wheel, blacked out and got into a car accident in Northeast Minneapolis. He and Nora later found an unsigned note in his jacket pocket that said, “Your car is parked in the tobacco shop parking lot at 18th Av NE and Stinson.”

Aaron died later that year, but he and Nora had already written an obituary that portrayed Aaron as a superhero. The Spider-Man obituary gained international attention, and was covered by Huffington Post, Slate, Buzzfeed, the Daily Mail and more.

After Aaron's death, Nora founded a nonprofit called Still Kickin that sells shirts with the phrase to raise money for people going through similar tragedies. Each month she profiles a survivor and donates the organizations' proceeds from the month to that person.

If you preorder "It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is cool too)" through AmazonSmile, you can choose to donate some of the money to StillKickin, according to Purmort's blog post.

You can read the Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine's recent cover story on Purmort here, or read a sneak peek of "It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is cool too)" in Elle here.

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