Bestselling author and Orange Prize winner Ann Patchett's first work of non-fiction is a searing, emotionally wrenching account of 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 ...Read MoreBestselling author and Orange Prize winner Ann Patchett's first work of non-fiction is a searing, emotionally wrenching account of 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 honour 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, yet sometimes 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.Read Less
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Interesting memoir by the author of Bel Canto, and The Patron Saint of Liars. The story concerns the author's twenty-plus year relationship with her best friend, poet Lucy Grealy. Though both women attended Sarah Lawrence College, their friendship did not begin until they enrolled in the Iowa Writer's Workshop after graduating.
They supported each other in writing and in life for the next two decades, until Lucy's lifelong struggle with cancer began to manifest itself in depression and drug abuse. The story is really about Patchett's love for her friend Lucy, and is a beautiful depiction of the depths of female friendships in general. I really enjoyed it and reading about Patchett's process of creating her novels made me want to read them all again, too!
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