Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Truth and Beauty,' a Tale of Friendship

In writer Lucy Grealy's 1994 memoir Autobiography of a Face, she told of the facial bone cancer that ravaged her jaw and the years of pain and treatment that followed: radiation, chemotherapy and dozens of surgeries.

Lucy Grealy died in 2002 at age 39. She had spiraled into drug abuse and tried to kill herself several times. Her death was ruled an accidental overdose.

Now, the novelist Ann Patchett has written her own memoir: the story of her friendship with Grealy. The two met as undergraduates and their friendship grew along with their careers as writers. In Truth and Beauty: A Friendship, Patchett writes about Grealy's courage and her love of life. NPR's Melissa Block talks with Patchett about Grealy's life.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.