"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.
About the Author
Lucy Grealy (1963-2002), an award-winning poet, attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop. She was a fellow at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a guest of the Yaddo Corporation. Her article for Harper's, "Mirrorings," on which Autobiography of a Face was based, received theNationalMagazine Award.
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.
“This is a young woman’s first book, the story of her own life, and both book and life are unforgettable.” -New York Times