Autobiography of a Face

Pages: 2 (365 words) Published: February 27, 2014

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

As everyday people, one is used to seeing faces that are “regularly proportioned.” But what happens when one stumble upon one that’s different from the status quo? They stop and stare or may talk about the person. Lucy Grealy experienced both of these and even more after her surgery that removed one-third of her jaw. The encounters and troubles that she faced are recorded in her autobiography, Autobiography of a Face (1994).

Lucy Grealy was born in Dublin, Ireland on June 3, 1963. At the age of four, she and her family (which consisted of her mother, father, two brothers, twin sister, and older sister) moved to Spring Valley, New York. Autobiography of a Face tracks Grealy’s life from the time that she was diagnosed through her treatments of the cancer whose treatment offered a five percent survival rate. In her autobiography, she describes the cruelty of others, what one suffers from being physically different, and discusses the importance of inner beauty.

At the age of nine she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Treatment for this would include removing parts of her jaw and reconstructing the bone. Throughout Grealy’s life, her treatment required numerous visits to the hospital for chemotherapy, surgery, checkups and evaluations, etc. While in the hospital, Grealy had various adventures with the other children she met; one of which included observing test animals in the basement of a hospital. Grealy described the encounter as “quite scary” on discovering cats without voice boxes and hormone-injected animals. Lucy felt safe and accepted in the hospital. When she was outside of the hospital, she would have to endure the stares and brutality from other people including schoolmates and even a beggar. While walking the streets one day, a man came up behind Grealy and demanded that she give him money. Upon seeing her, the beggar gives her a dollar and walks away.

This book discusses many relevant...
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