Truth & Beauty

Truth & Beauty

A Friendship

Book - 2004
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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.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060572143
Branch Call Number: 362.196 PAT
Characteristics: 257 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Truth and beauty


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May 09, 2019

Lucy Grealy. A world of New York writers and poets - the whole east coast - Sarah Lawrence - Provincetown. All the writing fellowships and awards. Lucy - someone I did not know and now I know a little. The friendship so intense. Ann Patchett writing that she never feels so much herself as when she is with Lucy. There is also the unapologetic differences between them - Ann's methodical writing and her generally organized life and Lucy's chaos. Ann writes about their conversations but she doesn't write their conversations. She does include Lucy's letters. I want to read her book now, and the books of the others in the memoir. At the end, Lucy's death left me thinking about pain and about heroin's power to end pain. Lucy's death was with heroin but medically not caused by heroin. She lived with so much pain - physical and emotional pain. One feels that somehow she could have allowed herself less pain but it was not possible for her. How do we honor the end of someone's tolerance for the pain of their life?

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