(Aka Lucinda Margaret Grealy)
[June 3, 1963–December 18, 2002]
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Profile created May 21, 2009
Autobiography of a Face
"I spent five years of my life being treated for cancer,
but since then I've spent fifteen years being treated for nothing other
than looking different from everyone else. It was the pain from that, from
feeling ugly, that I always viewed as the great tragedy of my life. The
fact that I had cancer seemed minor in comparison."
At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer.
When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the
cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells
her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without
sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of
peer rejection and the guilty pleasures of wanting to be special, Grealy
captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to
be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else
we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly
to be perfect.
As Seen on TV: Provocations (2001)
From the author of the unforgettable Autobiography of A
Face comes a collection of wonderfully unexpected essays on life, love,
sex, God and politics. Whether she is contemplating promiscuity or The New
Testament, lamenting about what she should have said to Oprah, or learning
to tango, Grealy seduces and surprises the reader at every turn. With the
sheer brilliance of her imagination, Grealy leads us on delightful journeys
with her wit, unflinching honesty and peerless intelligence. As Seen On
TV breaks the mould of the essay, and is destined, like the memoir that
preceded it, to become a modern classic.
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship
(2005) by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett and the late 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 Grealy's critically acclaimed memior, Autobiography of a Face,
she wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, years of
chemotherapy and radiation, and 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 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 ... and what happens when one is left behind.
This is a tender, brutal book about loving the person we
cannot save. It is about loyalty, and being lifted up by the sheer
effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.
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