Hutton, Deborah 1955–2005
Hutton, Deborah 1955–2005
(Deborah Helen Hutton)
PERSONAL: Born September 7, 1955, in England; died of lung cancer, July 15, 2005; father a farmer; married Charlie Stebbings (a photographer and film director), 1984; children: Archie, Romilly, Clemmie, Freddie. Education: York University, B.A. (with first-class honors)
CAREER: Worked for the British Council after college; Vogue (magazine), New York, NY, former staff writer; became freelance writer in late 1990s.
AWARDS, HONORS: Won Vogue magazine talent contest.
Vogue Complete Beauty, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 1982, published as Vogue Beauty, 1984.
(General editor) Vogue Complete Diet and Exercise, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 1985.
(With Ivan Sokolov) The Parents Book: Getting On Well with Our Children, Thorsons Publishing Group (Wellingborough, England), 1988.
Vogue Beauty for Life: Health, Fitness, Looks, and Style for Women in their 30s, 40s, 50s—, Crown (New York, NY), 1994.
"Vogue" Futures: Beauty for Life, Ebury Press (London, England), 1994.
What Can I Do to Help? 75 Practical Ideas for Family and Friends from Cancer's Frontline, Short Books (London, England), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: When health writer Deborah Hutton was diagnosed with stage-four adenocarcinoma—advanced lung cancer—in November 2004, it came as a complete shock. Although Hutton had been a smoker in her twenties, she had quit long ago and had for many years followed a healthy lifestyle of careful diet and regular exercise. A winner of the Vogue writing contest in the 1980s, she had also become a health columnist for the magazine, and later, a freelancer who had published several books on food and exercise, including the popular Vogue Complete Beauty. Lung cancer has a high mortality rate, and Hutton knew her prospects were not good. She spent her remaining time campaigning in her native England for better funding for a disease that, though it causes twenty percent of all cancer deaths, only receives three percent of government cancer research funding. She also managed to publish a final book, What Can I Do to Help? 75 Practical Ideas for Family and Friends from Cancer's Frontline.
What Can I Do to Help? is a frank and honest guide aimed at the family and friends of those who are suffering from cancer. "The great strength of this anthology," reported Hugh Massingberd for the Spectator, "is that it gives clear and supremely practical guidance to the family and friends … who long to do something to help but don't know how to go about it." Hutton's advice includes telling readers that they should do all they can to maintain a sense of normalcy in the cancer patient's life, listen to what they have to say—even when it is a complaint that has been stated repeatedly—without offering judgment, refraining from asking "How are you?" all the time, and advising the person on how to treat his or her illness. One of Hutton's last acts was to designate that all royalties from her book should be donated to the Macmillan Cancer Relief fund.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 1983, review of Vogue Complete Beauty, p. 592; April 15, 1985, review of Vogue Complete Diet and Exercise, p. 1147.
Kliatt, winter, 1985, review of Vogue Beauty, p. 42.
Library Journal, February 1, 1983, review of Vogue Complete Beauty, p. 206.
New Scientist, April 16, 1994, Gail Vines, review of "Vogue" Futures: Beauty for Life, p. 43.
Observer (London, England), November 14, 1982, review of Vogue Complete Beauty, p. 27.
Spectator, July 30, 2005, Hugh Massingberd, "Bring on the Colander Girls," review of What Can I Do to Help? 75 Practical Ideas for Family and Friends from Cancer's Frontline, p. 35.
Times Educational Supplement, December 23, 1988, Sarah Jane Evans, review of The Parents Book: Getting On Well with Our Children, p. 21.
Daily Telegraph (London, England), July 16, 2005.
Guardian (London, England), July 17, 2005.
Times (London, England), July 21, 2005, p. 61.