Jocelynlt's Reviews > Autobiography of a Face

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
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Feb 24, 08

bookshelves: disability-ability, med-anthro
Read in September, 2007

This book had been recommended to me for years from some medical anthropology friends. Grealy, a poet, is known primarily for her memoir of a childhood growing up with the disfiguring result of childhood cancer and surgery. This is the book that people will recommend to you if you were in a terrible accident, something for "inspiration." Don't believe a word of it - this is the book you read that will make you think long and hard about the darker side of "different," and the role the "differents" (my words) play in our social lives.

To say that I liked this book doesn't really capture it. It disturbed me, it made me think, and often it made me want to autobiographize my spine and it's life within mine. The book has a rather dissatisfying ending, but it echoes the theme throughout the book of uneasy dissatisfaction and vulnerability.

Read this book. You may not enjoy it, but you will remember it, and it will make you want to write down your own tortured thoughts and painful childhood. That, I think, is high praise for any book.
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