Lucy Grealy had cancer in her jaw as a child, for which she underwent 5 years of treatment. The surgery and other therapy left her disfigured. Over the next 15 years she had about 30 reconstructive operations. Her memoir Autobiography of a Face is about her illness, and about the pain from feeling ugly, which she says made cancer seems minor in comparison. Her memoir is expanded from an article which won a National Magazine Award when it was published in Harpers. (Originally aired 9/26/94)
As a child, Lucy Grealy spent five years being treated for cancer, which left her face disfigured. She has since had over thirty reconstructive procedures and years of living with a distorted self-image. She's just written "Autobiography of a Face," her memoir about coming to terms with looking less than perfect in a society that values female beauty.