Lucinda Margaret Grealy (June 3, – December 18, ) was an Irish- American poet and memoirist who wrote Autobiography of a Face in 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. Washington Post Book World This powerful memoir is about the premium we put on beauty and on a woman’s face in particular. It took Lucy Grealy twenty years.

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I think I was most disappointed that she only mentioned her twin sister Sarah in passing.

Memoir in Review: Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy | Emilia Judith Jordan

All of that based foremost on appearance. I was grieving for her. Grealy is a poet.

Although I had liked both books, I had put them out of my mind – Autobigoraphy can’t remember everything. It is rich in language and raw in experience.

According to Ann Patchett, Lucy underwent thirty-six surgeries. In those days, she had a four-by-four gauze pad folded and taped to the side of her jaw that she wore constantly.

There were plenty of interesting scenes, but we were held back from them frequently, or we were told what they meant or stood for.

Lucy Grealy

It so happens that my wife used to own a children’s bookstore and has subsequently been a “young adult” librarian. The reverse order causes the reader to feel as though they are attacking their beloved Lucy rather than understanding her more clearly.

She explains the constant conflict she felt over wishing people would NOT stare at her face; and yet at the same time, longing for a face which people could look upon without her seeing their obvious feelings of pity and disgust.

A beautifully written memoir about the late Grealy’s struggle with childhood cancer leading to many, many reconstructive surgeries over 20 years. I had loved it while she was alive, for the texture of her skin, for the closeness of her teeth, for a quality of nearness that made me feel if I looked at it long enough, she would blink. The last thing I want to say is that I’m not so callous as to not feel sympathy for the things that Lucy had to deal with in her life.


Her life had been hard, but she had also experienced more joy than many. I also think this q works against her in some ways. Quotes from Autobiography of So for the first 50 or so pages, we are met with a somewhat unreliable narrator, one whom we suspect is holding back.

Hijacked by grief

For three days, she had waited in our autobiograpby for me to arrive. Jessica I’d say yes; it’s an incredible xutobiography with many areas by which excellent discussion and student fave can be parsed out. But I can’t recall ever reading anything has better reminded me of what it felt like to be 9 years old, 10 years old, 11, I cried almost incessantly with frustration. In addition, she had literally dozens of surgeries attempting to restore her face.

If she could not succeed at being beautiful, facially, she would become as smart as she could. Lucy was also a poet and this was evident in her writing. She became convinced that only facial reconstruction and a restored appearance would make life bearable. Ann was a far better “sister” to Lucy than I could ever have been, but we never met while Lucy was alive. That’s why I’ve read a lot more “young adult” books than the typical geeky fellow of my age.

Only on Halloween, when she could mask her face, did she feel free and joyful, unconcerned about autoibography appearance, “normal. When paired with Truth and Beauty, I think the literary experience is amazing.


A truly touching story filled with so many little life lessons. Be sure to read this one second. I envied the precision of their grief. Grealy and author Ann Patchett Be Autobiography of a Face chronicles Lucy Grealy’s battle with the physical and psychological effects of Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancer that robbed her of much of her jaw.

If you’re like me, there aren’t many magazine articles that haunt you for fifteen years or more. It’s Not Just a B And the support autobiiography received from her parents was anything but helpful. What is more important to your sense of self than to recognize yourself in the mirror? This book, beautifully written, made me so sad, especially given lucu its author died tragically not even ten years after it was published, and her gifts didn’t get to be shared with readers through many more works.

She rushed past each day not looking, forcing herself to believe that having her dead twin’s face staring out at her was a good thing, because people had loved her. I cooked what we referred autobiograpyy as Lucy-Food, a autkbiography diet of things that did not have to be chewed, soft lasagna and half-done pancakes.

The Face of Pain

Of them, “Autobiography of a Face” is one of the ten or twenty that I’m pretty sure will stick with me forever.

If there are tensions at home, show the reader. I stood at the threshold, not entirely sure about just walking in. This is the story of her greealy with Grealy. A woman going through an ordeal like this and overcoming it seems standard material for a memoir.

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