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Autobiography of a Face
Autobiography of a Face
Author: Lucy Grealy
"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. It was the pain from that, from feeling ugly, that I always viewed as the great tragedy of my life. The fact that I had cancer seemed minor in comparison." At age nine,...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780060569662
ISBN-10: 0060569662
Publication Date: 3/18/2003
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 170 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed Autobiography of a Face on + 377 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
Dismal and bleak, this depicts the story of an introspective woman struggling through adolescence with only part of a face. The writing is strong, the observations keen and telling. I felt the last 1/3 could have used the same detail and storytelling as the first 2/3.
reviewed Autobiography of a Face on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
A remarkable book. A remarkable life. Do yourself a favor and read this and then read Ann Patchett's book, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with this author.
dulcimer42 avatar reviewed Autobiography of a Face on + 107 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Can you imagine: being a teenage girl, losing much of your face to cancer, and returning to school. This is a story of pain, taunting, resiliency and strength. How she went through school, graduated from college - and all she endured in the process. A beautifully written story of an unconquerable spirit. You will love this book.
Riku avatar reviewed Autobiography of a Face on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
read this during college...wonderful book to help understand how a child deals with being different. It conitues into adulthood...just excellent reading. If you can remember books some 10 years later..than its good :)
MeadowbrookManor avatar reviewed Autobiography of a Face on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Sad story (with a sadder ending, not in the book), but beautifully written. Lucy was truly a gifted writer - don't read this as an autobiography, but rather as a piece of well-crafted literature.
Read All 54 Book Reviews of "Autobiography of a Face"

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Sandiinmississippi avatar reviewed Autobiography of a Face on + 260 more book reviews
Found this story so interesting, so tender, and so open. Everything she writes about relating to her cancer surgery on jaw at 10, then years upon years of unsuccessful reconstructive surgery after radiation and chemo, is dreadful. But she manages to create little pools of humor and normality by telling exactly what she thought and understood at various ages. Fate didn't deal her a long life or a very happy outcome, but that is not addressed in the book. I found an entirely different Lucy Grealy than I'd envisioned from Ann Patchett's (her 'best friend') book about their long friendship. Not doubting what Patchett had to say specifically - just finding so much more to Lucy.
reviewed Autobiography of a Face on + 77 more book reviews
I was intrigued by this book when I heard about the feud between the author's family and Ann Patchett, who has written a kind of memoir about Grealy. The afterword by Patchett disturbs me a bit because of its suggesting that this is a partially fictional work, done that way presumably because life doesn't fit art quite as well as we'd like. Because Grealy is not a particularly winsome narrator (why so very little relationship with her siblings--is it to protect their privacy or because she just doesn't connect with them, including her twin?), I hate to think that she's presented us with her BEST self. :-)

Nevertheless, this is a moving and painful story, and it helped me understand how someone in Grealy's (or Grealy's character's) circumstances tries to find her place in the world.
reviewed Autobiography of a Face on
well written book that pulls on emotions. readers should follow up this one with Truth and Beauty, by Ann Pachett, Lucy's BFF.


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