By Andrea Gollin
Updated October 27, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

During the last five years, the model-actress-VJ Karen Duffy has suffered from the life-threatening illness sarcoidosis and all it entailed (excruciating pain, numbness, partial paralysis, chemo, massive doses of steroids, and an acquired morphine addiction). But her new memoir Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise-Ass is, surprisingly, not about being sick but about how to live, and live fully. Fighting against emotional defeat, Duffy has written a darkly funny, vital, and impressive (if at times glib) account of how she’s made the best of her situation. As she puts it, ”If you’re skating on thin ice, you might as well dance.” B+