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The Complicated World of Friendship

autobiography of a faceWhen Lucy Grealy was nine years old, she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a frequently fatal cancer in her jaw.  Her book, Autobiography of a Face, is her story of the effect of the disfiguring surgeries she endured and how the changes to her physical appearance affected her relationships with other people. In her book, she frequently discussed her friendship with Ann Patchett, another writer.  After Lucy's book was re-published, Ann Patchett wrote her book Truth & Beauty: a friendship about her relationship of many years with Lucy Grealy.

truth abd beauty front cover imageWhile their friendship is not the focus in Grealy's book the way it is in Patchett's, it is absolutely fascinating to read their depictions and interpretations of each other and their friendship. These are not light-hearted reads but they are honest,  thoughtful and memorable. I read Grealy's book first and then Patchett's and I recommend that they be read in that order as it chronologically mirrors the events in the books.