• Truth & Beauty

  • A Friendship
  • By: Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by: Ann Patchett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (839 ratings)

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Truth & Beauty  By  cover art

Truth & Beauty

By: Ann Patchett
Narrated by: Ann Patchett
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $21.37

Buy for $21.37

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

The author of Bel Canto, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Orange Prize, and long-running New York Times best seller, turns to nonfiction in a moving chronicle of her decades-long friendship with the critically acclaimed and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy.

What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when that person is not your lover, but your best friend? In her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, Ann Patchett shines light on the little-explored world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.

Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and after enrolling in the Iowa Writer's Workshop began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In her critically acclaimed memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about the first half of her life. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life but the parts of their lives they shared together. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans 20 years, from the long cold winters of the Midwest to surgical wards to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.

This is a tender, brutal book about loving the person we cannot save. It is about loyalty and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

Don't miss our free Ann Patchett interview. Patchett is an Audible CelebrityListener - find out what she's listening to here.
©2004 Ann Patchett (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic reviews

  • Alex Award Winner, 2005

"This gorgeously written chronicle unfolds as an example of how friendships can contain more passion and affection than any in the romantic realm." (Publishers Weekly)
"An electrifyingly intimate portrait of a remarkable human being, and a profoundly insightful chronicle of an incandescent friendship." (Booklist)

Featured Article: The Best Audiobooks on Friendship to Deepen Your Bonds


Friends are the family we choose. When we’re going through hardships or have something to celebrate, our friends are often the people we turn to first. So much of literature, art, music, and film is dedicated to romantic love, but the love between friends can be just as (if not more) rewarding. Of course, plenty of authors "are" writing about friendship, in all its many forms. Here is our list of the very best audiobooks about friendship across genres.