Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Autobiography of a Face and Ann Patchett

Lucy Grealy's book, Autobiography of a Face, was in the woman's stack of books she was buying.

"Oh, I've wanted to read that one.", I said.

"Do you know the story behind it?", the customer asked?

"I'm not sure," I said, "I read Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett", (which was Ann Patchett's book about her friendship with Lucy Grealy, a woman she met in college who had cancer that horribly disfigured her face.) "Is there more to the story?"

"There sure is.", the woman said, "I read Truth and Beauty too, and loved it..."

"Me too!"

She said, "After I read Patchett's book, I read an article that said that Lucy's family hated that Ann Patchett wrote Truth and Beauty. That by writing about Lucy, Ann 'stole their grief.'"

"Oh, no, I hadn't heard that. Interesting and strange, I thought Ann Patchett did a stunning job of portraying Lucy and their friendship.", I said.

"I know, I thought so too.", said the woman, "Especially so since some of the things Lucy did toward the end of her life weren't very positive or flattering. Ann Patchett wrote a pretty glowing book. I'm not sure how Ann Patchett's book, 'stole the Grealy family's grief', but hey."

"Yeah, me neither, unless by Ann writing her book, and Ann not being a blood relative it took the emphasis away from their particular family? I don't know. Though in Truth and Beauty she mentions Lucy's book and that made me want to read it then. Now I really want to read it!", I said.

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