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Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
Truth & Beauty is Ann Patchett's (author of Bel Canto) memoir about her friendship with the late Lucy Grealy. They first met in college, and then while at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, they formed a friendship so close and so intertwined, that it defined parts of both of them. Lucy was the effervescent and gregarious personality while Ann melted into the background and constantly played a supporting role in Lucy's life. Lucy suffered from a childhood cancer that caused her to lose part of her jaw, and her memoir, Autobiography of a Face, won her acclaim as a writer. Constant operations and hospital stays tore at Lucy's hold on life until she began experimenting with heroin, which ultimately took her life. Truth & Beauty tells of their shared lives together, Lucy's bright star that flamed through the world, and Ann's unimaginable grief at the loss of her best friend. Truth & Beauty has received glowing reviews. The Portland Oregonian says, "Ultimately, the power of Truth & Beauty lies in the one sentiment that goes unspoken but is increasingly palpable on every page. It's in coming to the difficult realization that even a friendship that knows no bounds is not always enough in the end."