Truth and Beauty

(Nonfiction; Harper Perennial, 2004)

“Lucy and I were one another’s history,” Ann Patchett writes about her dear friend, attempting to explain why Truth and Beauty, a memoir, is more focused on Lucy than on herself. The late Lucy Grealy is best known for her own memoir, Autobiography of a Face, which describes the childhood cancer that forced doctors to remove half of her lower jaw bone, the resulting years of chemotherapy, and an overwhelming number of reconstructive surgeries. Patchett, author of the award-winning novels Bel Canto and Taft, produces a raw portrait of two writers who met as students of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and maintained a close friendship during their journeys from struggling freelancers to well-known literary writers.

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