Wake Forest
Angela Bendorf Jamison of The Girls from Ames


The Storyteller’s Bookstore—To answer the question many worried readers have been asking her, Angela Bendorf Jamison is “doing great,” she says. Those who bought Jeffrey Zaslow’s The Girls from Ames, a nonfiction chronicle of the decades-long friendship between 11 women from Ames, Iowa, got a sad surprise at the end of the book when Jamison was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, the same kind that killed her mother at age 52.

But as we meet at a Starbucks at Brier Creek, she’s chipper and smiling, her hair already growing back in an Anne Lennox ‘do. She’s laughing as we talk and excited about appearing at Wake Forest’s Storyteller’s Bookstore to promote the book.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be,” says Jamison, who was diagnosed last October and has just started radiation after previously undergoing 16 treatments of chemotherapy. She had surgery the same week the book came out in April of this year and has been undergoing treatment at UNC Hospital.

“Cancer is never great, but the reason you can survive it is because of the people around you,” Jamison says. It’s almost a given that her girlfriends from Ames have been there for her. “They have visited, they’ve sent cards, e-mails, gifts … they even bought me a housecleaner!” Jamison says. “I really think I’ve done so well because of them and my friends in the Triangle.”

Since 1998, Jamison has run Communicopia Marketing (www.communicopiapr.com) in Wake Forest, where she lives. A 2007 reunion of the girls at her house serves as the framing device of The Girls from Ames, and a group photo of them on her porch has become the main marketing symbol for the book.

“I would say it’s been a fun ride,” Jamison says. “We never thought it would be something as big as it’s been. We thought, ‘It’ll be a nice chronicle of our friendship, and we can give it to our daughters and show them a different part of our lives.'” And while she’s gotten to see her friends more frequently as they’ve done interviews and promotions for the book, she’s not tired of them yet: “The time is never long enough when we’re together.” —Zack Smith

Angela Jamison appears at The Storyteller’s Bookstore in Wake Forest from 7-9 p.m., along with fellow “girls from Ames” Diana and Karen. For more information, visit www.storystorewf.com or call 554-9146. For more on The Girls from Ames, visit www.girlsfromames.com.

Reprinted from The Indpendent Weekly