Before reading Autobiography of a Face, I’d only read one thing by Lucy Grealy. It was “The Country of Childhood” from her As Seen on TV. Lucinda Margaret Grealy (June 3, – December 18, ) was an Irish- American poet and memoirist who wrote Autobiography of a Face in Autobiography of a Face is a memoir written by award-winning poet Lucy Grealy. It describes her childhood struggles with jaw cancer and the resulting.

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At that point, recognition came flooding back and I can say that I wish I had read ‘Autobiography of a Face’ first. There’s no great introspection in her story. I loved greay story because rarely have I read a personal account of ones tribulations that shows all the narcissism,self absorption and Self pity that all of us feel at times in our life and for much lesser reasons.

Autobiography of a Face

She would bow from the waist. Welcome to my Journey wandering, wondering, pondering. Her honesty ov unflinching and totally politically incorrect at times.

She says, “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.

In her memoir, Autobiography of a FaceGrealy describes her life from the time of grsaly diagnosis and how she weathered the cruelty of schoolmates and others, suffering taunts and endless stares from strangers.

Her life was not all tragic, however; she also remembers moments of joy and humorous escapades. Friends of hers, not including Ann, had already been there.

She had a lack of physical modesty common to many people who had spent that much time naked in hospitals. We thought, how could we not?

After completing the book, I listened to an interview with Lucy Grealy. A third of her jawbone was removed to try to stem the spread of this cancer. I was shocked on two levels: Are you your face?


It was late August and scorching hot. I first discovered this book when I was 14, some ten years later and it’s just as powerful as I remembered, and a re-reading left me just as battered and grateful as it did the first time round. She beat it, but was left without a jaw on one side of her face. Why is that memory so elusive? But the core of our love was based in the little home we had together. I became so used to it that after a while, I thought of it as part of her face.

I suspect our ability to deal with disability has not improved in all these years. The mature Lucy beautifully phrased those different powers of her imagination. It was her work-study job to run the film series on Friday and Saturday nights, and before she would turn the projector on, it was up to her to walk in front of the screen and explain that in accordance with the New York State fire marshal, there were exits located at either side of the theater.

Grealy somehow manages to almost completely immerse us in her thoughts and feelings for the eighteen years between her diagnosis with Ewing’s sarcoma and the writing of the book.

During the period that Lucy was in junior high school the chemo and radiation treatments were successful in eradicating the cancer, but the after effects left her with a mutilated face that was to be her curse for the rest of her life.

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And I also noticed how she never mentioned Ann Patchett aytobiography this book. The sadness that Lucy’s many other friends wrote about addressed only a tiny fraction of the tragedy my family had experienced. I told her I believed that Lucy, dead and thus completely free of the worldly obstacles of vanity and rivalry, would want us to console each other.

Lucy details the excruciating pain of chemotherapy while also conveying her childhood fce about the seriousness of what was going on. Languages Nederlands Zutobiography links. Everyone knew that Lucy was the poet. Lucy’s cancer was in her jaw, and over the next five years she had several facial reconstructive surgeries that removed a third of her jawbone. I told them to do what they felt was right.


Oct 28, Patty rated it liked it Shelves: In fact, her protestations against whininess come off as, well, whiny.

Lucy Grealy – Wikipedia

There had always been thousands of miles between us, and she was simply one of the many friends Lucy made so fae. Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. In retrospect, we should have seen this coming, but we had no experience to judge him against. View all 19 comments. The story is beyond interesting and sucks you into her life.

The one picture that I can’t focus on quickly enough is when they both turn to look at me, laughing, their foreheads nearly touching. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. After she finished the course of treatment, she had to humiliation of being ridiculed for her facial appearance.

In spiritual care we distinguish between cure and healing. She mentioned film rights. I learned, too, how easily readers would accept it as the only true greapy point. High school offered minimal relief. Exquisite memoir by poet and novelist Lucy Grealy. Quotes from Autobiography of Afterwards, I was consoled by my new, transatlantic email friendship with Ann.

Notify me of new comments via email. A woman going through an ordeal like this and overcoming it seems standard material for a memoir.

Different books are written at different levels of closeness and intimacy, and there are a lot of choices an author has to make to create that consistent level, or varying the distance over the arc of a story.