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Old 12-21-2009, 02:07 PM
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Thumbs up Autobiography of a Face

Has anyone ever read Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy? I am doing a report/presentation on it for my Death & Christian Hope (yeah, seriously) class.

I was a little iffy about reading this because I thought it might bore the heck out of me. Instead, I had a hard time ever putting it down. I tried to describe this but didn't like what I wrote about it, so here is a review from "Publishers Weekly"...

Diagnosed at age nine with Ewing's sarcoma, a cancer that severely disfigured her face, Grealy lost half her jaw, recovered after two and half years of chemotherapy and radiation, then underwent plastic surgery over the next 20 years to reconstruct her jaw. This harrowing, lyrical autobiographical memoir, which grew out of an award-winning article published in Harper's in 1993, is a striking meditation on the distorting effects of our culture's preoccupation with physical beauty. Extremely self-conscious and shy, Grealy endured insults and ostracism as a teenager in Spring Valley, N.Y. At Sarah Lawrence College in the mid-1980s, she discovered poetry as a vehicle for her pent-up emotions. During graduate school at the University of Iowa, she had a series of unsatisfying sexual affairs, hoping to prove she was lovable. No longer eligible for medical coverage, she moved to London to take advantage of Britain's socialized medicine, and underwent a 13-hour operation in Scotland. Grealy now lives in New York City. Her discovery that true beauty lies within makes this a wise and healing book.
It was definitely a good read, I'm so glad I chose this book. I can't wait to do my presentation on it! Just wondering if anyone else here has read it.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:10 PM
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i did in high school, the whole school was required to read it and they had Lucy Grealy come to speak. I will be completely honest though, that i do not remember the book. I'm getting old and high school seems far away now. lol
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:36 PM
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I recently read this for my Rhetoric class and I thought it was very well written and thoughtful. We read "Truth and Beauty" by Anne Patchett afterwards and it shed a totally different light on "Autobiography of a Face" because Lucy leaves out some significant details. I would definitely recommend reading "Truth and Beauty" too.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:56 PM
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Cool. I was thinking about picking up "Truth and Beauty" but once I read what Lucy's sister wrote about it, I wasn't sure if I wanted to. But it seems like it would be an enjoyable read and now I am kind of interested in Lucy's life so I think I'd enjoy it.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:14 PM
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I just bought this book on Amazon after reading this review and read it. I liked the book, but I really thought she portrayed her parents very harshly The way she compared her family to the pony party families was unfair IMO. Her parents seemed like good people, how she portrayed her mother about "crying" I thought was unfair. She has obviously never had children or she might understand how hard it is to be a parent and how it couldn't have been "easy" to have such a medically needy child, yet her Mother still did buy her that pony and offered to buy that wig too, she didn't seem all that appreciative of her parents I guess

All in all the book was good, but I didn't end up liking Lucy Grealy very much
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