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Customer Review

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and thoughtful, August 11, 2005
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This review is from: Autobiography of a Face (Paperback)
Although it is true, according to so many who knew Lucy Grealy, that she is spoiled and selfish, it is also true that this book is excellent and thoughtfully written.

Most memoirs most likely leave certain elements out or elaborate others. In Grealy's case, though, she left behind so many people who really had bad personal experiences with her, that there are a lot of people to dispute or criticize her, as well.

That said, even if she was a selfish and spoiled woman, this book is STILL good. It is easy to see, with what she went through, why she became so needy. At such a young age, her self-image was distorted. I think anyone who went through that would be the same. I'm reminded, now, of Frances Kuffel's "Passing for Thin". The criticism of that book was similar to this. She grew up terribly obese, taunted and teased also. And, she had to relearn things the rest of us take for granted when she grew up. Grealy learned everything through such negative experiences, also.

Lucy Grealy considered herself a poet first, then a memoirist. Her memoir reads like poetry and the words she chooses to use serve her well.

After reading this, I read Ann Patchett's "Truth and Beauty" to get a fuller picture of Grealy. Ann's book talked about many things that Grealy's left out. Some reviewers seemed to find this troublesome. I don't think that is the point, however. Grealy shared with us her thoughts and feelings, not Ann Patchett's. Sometimes they were contradictory to Patchett's. Sometimes they were contradictory to her own thoughts at different times. This doesn't make them false; it makes her more real.
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