My summer of reading non-fiction continues with two selections — Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face, and Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty. The two books naturally go together and I’ve decided to review them together here because I feel like they end up completing each other.
Rattlebone follows Irene Wilson, a young Black girl growing up in a Black neighbourhood in Kansas City during the 1950s. It’s not often I come across a narrative that is very distinctly and unmistakably character-driven, but this one definitely is.
Academia provides a concrete backdrop for a constantly shifting narrative in which the narrator is struggling to come to terms with herself and asserting that self in a society that treats her like an aberration because of her sexuality.