Monday, February 28, 2005

Lucy Grealy

At the age of nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a lethal form of cancer with only a five percent survival rate. She lost nearly half her jaw to the disease, endured three years of chemotherapy, and endless painful operations attempting to reconstruct her face. Yet in her 1994 memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Grealy tells the story of a different kind of pain - "the deep bottomless grief . . . called ugliness." It is this pain that she calls "the great tragedy of my life. The fact that I had cancer seemed minor in comparison."

The book is a powerful, strikingly candid account of the alienation, humiliation, and hostility Grealy endured as a result of her deformity. It is also a fresh and insightful commentary on the relationship between beauty and happiness in our society. The critical response to the work was overwhelming.

You can order Lucy's book through Amazon.

Lucy is now a writer and poet. Here is a quote from her book, Autobiography of a Face:

"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."

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