Ann Patchett

Truth & Beauty

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What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when the person you promise to love and to honor for the rest of your life is not your lover, but your best friend? In Truth & Beauty, her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Ann Patchett shines a fresh, revealing light on the world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.
Ann Patchett and 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 was. In her critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, the years of chemotherapy and radiation, and then the endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's 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, cold winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this book shows us what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.
This is a tender, brutal book about loving a person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.
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279 printed pages
Publication year
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    Frenchegirlshared an impression2 years ago

    Love the book. Sometimes I wonder what else the author can cope with being a friend with such an outstanding person. I read the book very quickly because it was so exciting to observe these deep and intimate relations, some kind of soul connection.

    thalia de andashared an impression4 years ago
    💞Loved Up


    María José Evia H.has quoted4 years ago
    In the days before Roe v. Wade, I doubt that many American women were wracked with guilt over having abortions. They were too busy wondering if they were going to be butchered. So when luck went their way and they made it through the procedure safely, it was a cause for celebration rather than remorse. What legalized abortion brought to this country, along with safe medical practices, was the expectation of shame, the need to wonder if you were doing the right thing even though you knew exactly what you’d do in the end. We could have our abortions but we had to feel horrible for the decision we made, even if it was hardly a decision at all. So while social decency compels me to say that on the train uptown we cried and cursed fate and wondered what life might be like with a baby, the truth is we did not. I could not imagine Lucy looking after a baby for an afternoon, much less a lifetime. She did not try to imagine it at all. She was a little worried it might hurt. She was wondering when she would be able to have sex again. She was excited because this was also the day she got to go and pick up her book jacket cover.
    María José Evia H.has quoted4 years ago
    I hate men when they know they’re the only one
    María José Evia H.has quoted4 years ago
    I couldn’t ever remember being lonely before, certainly not in this way, until I had seen the edge of all the ways you could be with another person, which brought up all the myriad ways that person could never be there for you.

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