In this celebrated memoir and exploration of identity, cancer transforms the author's face, childhood, and the rest of her life.
At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. It took her twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty years of reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance. In this lyrical and strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. She captures what it is like as a child and a young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.
"This is a young woman's first book, the story of her own life, and both book and life are unforgettable." —New York Times
"Engaging and engrossing, a story of grace as well as cruelty, and a demonstration of [Grealy's] own wit and style and class."—Washington Post Book World