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Truth & Beauty

Cover of Truth & Beauty

Truth & Beauty

A Friendship
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The author of Bel Canto - winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Orange Prize and long-running New York Times bestseller - turns to nonfiction in a moving chronicle of her decades-long friendship with the critically acclaimed and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy.

What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when that person 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 memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about the first half of her life. 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 20 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.

The author of Bel Canto - winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Orange Prize and long-running New York Times bestseller - turns to nonfiction in a moving chronicle of her decades-long friendship with the critically acclaimed and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy.

What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when that person 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 memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about the first half of her life. 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 20 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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  • AudioFile Magazine 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. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine
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