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Truth and Beauty: A Friendship

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Truth and Beauty: A Friendship Cover

 

Staff Pick

Patchett's eloquent prose gives a vivid portrait of the friendship that she and Lucy Grealy shared. I applaud Patchett's honesty and her refusal to gloss over the difficulties of their friendship. When I found out that Lucy Grealy had died, I was stunned and saddened. She was so full of genius and passionate beauty. I am grateful Patchett chose to give the world this book.
Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ann Patchett and the late Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In Grealy's critically acclaimed memoir, Autobiography of a Face, she wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, years of chemotherapy and radiation, and endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucys life or Ann's life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long 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... and what happens when one is left behind.

This is a tender, brutal book about loving the person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

Review:

"This memoir of Patchett's friendship with Autobiography of a Face author Lucy Grealy shares many insights into the nature of devotion. One of the best instances of this concerns a fable of ants and grasshoppers. When winter came, the hard-working ant took the fun-loving grasshopper in, each understanding their roles were immutable. It was a symbiotic relationship. Like the grasshopper, Grealy, who died at age 39 in 2002, was an untethered creature, who liked nothing more than to dance, drink and fling herself into Patchett's arms like a kitten. Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars; Bel Canto) tells this story chronologically, in bursts of dialogue, memory and snippets of Grealy's letters, moving from the unfolding of their deep connection in graduate school and into the more turbulent waters beyond. Patchett describes her attempts to be a writer, while Grealy endured a continuous round of operations as a result of her cancer. Later, when adulthood brought success, but also heartbreak and drug addiction, the duo continued to be intertwined, even though their link sometimes seemed to fray. This gorgeously written chronicle unfolds as an example of how friendships can contain more passion and affection than any in the romantic realm. And although Patchett unflinchingly describes the difficulties she and Grealy faced in the years after grad school, she never loses the feeling she had the first time Grealy sprang into her arms: "[She] — came through the door and it was there, huge and permanent and first." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A tough and loving tribute, hard to put down, impossible to forget." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"To say that Truth and Beauty is a memoir about [a] friendship, while true, doesn't begin to do justice to the extraordinary bond the two writers shared or Patchett's refined reflection upon it." Sarah Gianelli, The Oregonian

Review:

"A harrowing document, composed in a spare, forthright style? Grealy's letters glow with the energy of a quirkily original voice?.The juxtaposing of these very different voices makes the memoir an inspired duet." Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Dazzling in its psychological interpretations...candid in its self-portraiture, and gracefully balanced between emotion and reason...an utterly involving and cathartic elegy that speaks to everyone who would do anything for their soul mate." Booklist

About the Author

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels, including Bel Canto (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize), and the nonfiction bestsellers What now? and Truth & Beauty. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is co-owner of Parnassus Books.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

EK, October 22, 2014 (view all comments by EK)
I adore this book. It is a raw and honest look at the pain and love that goes into relationships. Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy are both amazing authors and this book shares about their deep friendship.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Jasmine, January 21, 2007 (view all comments by Jasmine)
A wonderful, absorbing, and sad book about friendship and love.
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(26 of 54 readers found this comment helpful)
lilah78, October 7, 2006 (view all comments by lilah78)
In her finest work yet, Patchett paints a poignant picture of friendship, one that all of us can, on some level, relate to. By weaving Lucy Grealy's letters throughout this brutally honest narrative, Patchett gives the reader another level of insight into their sometimes tumultuous friendship. At the same time she keeps Grealy alive and allows the late poet to speak for herself in a memoir where Patchett's version of the story can, at times, seem to overshadow Grealy's redeeming qualities.
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(29 of 52 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060572150
Subtitle:
A Friendship
Author:
Patchett, Ann
Author:
by Ann Patchett
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
Women
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Female friendship
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Grealy, Lucy
Subject:
Ewing's sarcoma - Patients - United States
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20050405
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.02x5.40x.69 in. .47 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Biography » Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

Truth and Beauty: A Friendship Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060572150 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Patchett's eloquent prose gives a vivid portrait of the friendship that she and Lucy Grealy shared. I applaud Patchett's honesty and her refusal to gloss over the difficulties of their friendship. When I found out that Lucy Grealy had died, I was stunned and saddened. She was so full of genius and passionate beauty. I am grateful Patchett chose to give the world this book.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This memoir of Patchett's friendship with Autobiography of a Face author Lucy Grealy shares many insights into the nature of devotion. One of the best instances of this concerns a fable of ants and grasshoppers. When winter came, the hard-working ant took the fun-loving grasshopper in, each understanding their roles were immutable. It was a symbiotic relationship. Like the grasshopper, Grealy, who died at age 39 in 2002, was an untethered creature, who liked nothing more than to dance, drink and fling herself into Patchett's arms like a kitten. Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars; Bel Canto) tells this story chronologically, in bursts of dialogue, memory and snippets of Grealy's letters, moving from the unfolding of their deep connection in graduate school and into the more turbulent waters beyond. Patchett describes her attempts to be a writer, while Grealy endured a continuous round of operations as a result of her cancer. Later, when adulthood brought success, but also heartbreak and drug addiction, the duo continued to be intertwined, even though their link sometimes seemed to fray. This gorgeously written chronicle unfolds as an example of how friendships can contain more passion and affection than any in the romantic realm. And although Patchett unflinchingly describes the difficulties she and Grealy faced in the years after grad school, she never loses the feeling she had the first time Grealy sprang into her arms: "[She] — came through the door and it was there, huge and permanent and first." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A tough and loving tribute, hard to put down, impossible to forget."
"Review" by , "To say that Truth and Beauty is a memoir about [a] friendship, while true, doesn't begin to do justice to the extraordinary bond the two writers shared or Patchett's refined reflection upon it."
"Review" by , "A harrowing document, composed in a spare, forthright style? Grealy's letters glow with the energy of a quirkily original voice?.The juxtaposing of these very different voices makes the memoir an inspired duet."
"Review" by , "Dazzling in its psychological interpretations...candid in its self-portraiture, and gracefully balanced between emotion and reason...an utterly involving and cathartic elegy that speaks to everyone who would do anything for their soul mate."
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