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'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.

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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.