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Poet and Essayist Lucy Grealy

She died last month at the age of 39. As a child, Grealy spent five years being treated for cancer, which left her face disfigured. She had over 30 reconstructive procedures and years of living with a distorted self-image. She wrote Autobiography of a Face in 1994, her memoir about coming to terms with looking less than perfect in a society that values female beauty. No cause of death was announced, but friends indicated she was despondent of late. Her last book was As Seen on TV, published in 2000.

Copyright 2003 Fresh Air