Truth and Beauty: A Friendship

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9780007190935: Truth and Beauty: A Friendship

Bestselling author and Orange Prize winner Ann Patchett's first work of non-fiction is a book about her long friendship with the critically acclaimed, and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy. It is remarkable for me to remember now that I thought it would be possible to walk away from her, that she might have gone on living, but without me. I know now I never would have had the strength of my convictions. I am living in a world without Lucy. I have no choice about that. If she were alive and I had that choice, I wouldn't have been able to last without her for a day.' 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 her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction,Truth & Beauty,Ann Patchett shines light on the little explored 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 Writer's Workshop began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In her critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir,Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about the first half of her life: 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 together. 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 is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined. This is a tender, brutal book about loving the 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 four previous novels, Bel Canto which won the Orange Prize, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft and The Magician's Assistant. She writes for the New York Times Magazine, Elle, GQ, The Paris Review and Vogue. She lives in Nashville,TN.

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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