Ann Patchett
Truth & beauty: a friendship


Ann Patchett was born on December 2, 1963.
She lived in Los Angeles California and at age 6 she moved
to Nashville, Tennessee. She attended St.Bernard Academy and
after went to Sarah Lawrence College. Out of college, Ann worked at
seventeen magazine for nine years but only had one of every five articles
published that she had written. After leaving the magazine, Ann started
writing novels. Her first novel, The Patron of Liars, was written and published
in 1992. In 1988 the novel was then made into a movie.
Along with The Patron of Liars, Taft published in 1994. In 1977 Ann then
wrote The Magicians Assistant, and in 2001 Bel Canto was published. Some
of her other writing consist of Run, The Best American Short Stories 2006,
and Truth and Beauty (Memior). Truth and Beauty was written in memory of
her friend Lucy. Ann had first written a piece for the New York Times,
but wanted to write more. So, in order to do so she wrote Truth and Beauty.
  • "Still, I thought, in my shyness, my blurriness, it would not be so unreasonable to think that the famous Lucy Grealy and I could be friends" (page 4) .

-Lucy was known because of the fact that she had cancer and her face looked beaten up. Ann never thought that her and Lucy would be friends because when Ann would wave to Lucy around campus, Lucy would lookat her and then turn away. Ann says that Lucy was too cool to be friends with her, but after graduating college Ann got a letter from Lucy.

  • "When Lucy believed that there were actually things in the world that were worse than what had happened to her, she could pull herself up on this knowlege like a rope. When she lost sight of it, she sank" (page 92).
-Lucy had always had problems with her self. She hated the way her face looked because of all the surgeries she had. Lucy was also a very unhappy person for many years. Nothing seemed important to her and she always had negative thoughts.

  • "I Know it sounds morbid,but it helped me enormously: everything, everything seemed suddenly important to me. I think those years really shaped me, possibly even began poetry for me. Now, rereading Levi's book has reminded me of myself. I'm a different person now; possibly in the way Levi was a different person when he was older. It scares me a little: Levi did kill himself after all, but it interests me greatly precisely because i am at a total loss to describe how i am different" (page 93).
- As Lucy rereads Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi, she tells Ann how it has changed her thinking. It is intersting though how she compares herself to Levi and how they have both differed, but it is also strange how Levi ended up killing himself and Lucy ended up doing the same thing.

  • "Our friendship was like our writing in some ways. It was the only thing that was interesting about our otherwise very dull lives. We were better off when we were together. Together we were a small society of ambition and high ideals. We were tender and patient and kind. We were not like the world at all" (page 73).
-For a large portion of Lucy's life, Ann was there to help her. Ann took care of Lucy even though she was killing herself. Even when Lucy was at her worst with drugs, Ann was by Lucy's side being her friend and taking care of her.

From a students prospective Ann Patchett is a succesful American
writer. Ann wrote many novels and a memoir.
It must have been very difficult for her to write
a memoir on her best friend who killed herself. Ann Patchett is
a very talented writer and captures readers into her stories.
  • "Lucy, weighing about a hundred pounds, having survived thiry-eight operations, had become officially invincible. She believed that the most basi rules of life did not apply to her, and over the course of the our friendship, without me knowing when i happend, i had come to believe it myself. The sheer force of Lucy's life convinced me that she would live no matter what. That was my mistake" (page 257).

-After fighting her drug, and drinking addiction for many years Lucy died. Ann stayed by her side through everthing but always knew that Lucy was going to kill herself. Ann even started writing a book of Lucy dying before Lucy had even died.

  • "That is one thing I've learned, that it is possible to really understand things at certain points, and not be able to retain them, to be in utter confusion just a short while later. I used to think that once you really knew a thing, it's truth would shine in forever. Now it's pretty obvious to me that more often than not the batteries fade, and sometimes what you knew even goes out with a bang when you try and call on it, just like a lightbulb cracking off when you throw on the switch" ( page 97).
- Lucy wrote a letter to Ann telling her of things that have started to maker her realize and understand things more clearly. Even though Lucy struggled with addictions and was very negative with thoughts, she did find a glimpse of hope. The hope didn't last very long, but it was still there in her mind. That glimpse of hope might of kept her alive for a little bit longer.
Work Cited:
Artical-School Library Journal New York, Vol. 55, Iss. 9

Contemporary Authors. New York,2008. Gale Learning

Ann_Patchett, Wikepedia

"entry_Ann" November 15,

"x8220" November 15,

"Survival-in-Auschwitz" November 17,