Truth & Beauty: A Friendship

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9780060572143: Truth & Beauty: A Friendship

What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when the person you promise to love and to honor for the rest of your life is not your lover, but your best friend? In Truth & Beauty, her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Ann Patchett shines a fresh, revealing light on the world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.

Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work was. In her critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, the years of chemotherapy and radiation, and then the endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long, cold winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this book shows us what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.

This is a tender, brutal book about loving a person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

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About the Author:

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three books of nonfiction. She has won many prizes, including Britain's Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the co-owner of Parnassus Books.

From AudioFile:

The author of BEL CANTO reads this memoir of her friendship with writer Lucy Grealy, author of AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE, which chronicled the story of her facial deformity. Patchett gives a clear and pleasant voice to the twenty-year relationship, spanning the women's days at the famed University of Iowa Writing Program, their ambitious salad days, and Patchett's struggles to support Grealy as she put herself in the hands of countless plastic surgeons who made promises they could not keep. Patchett applies a sometimes tender, sometimes whining tone to Grealy's exuberant, yet obsessive, expressions of love and neediness toward her friend. At some points, one wonders why Patchett's narration doesn't interject more emotion. But by book's end, the listener senses that Patchett has triumphed in reading this heartbreaking remembrance, which ends with Grealy's death in 2002, without allowing her voice to crack. J.J.B. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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