First published in Harper's Magazine, February, 1993. “The Barking Cat: Converting an Essay Collection to Memoir,”, Duke University Center for Documentary Studies Essay Prize, PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, The Fourth Genre: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction. In his post, McGlynn’s initial reluctance to move from the digressive world of essayistic observations to a more unified narrative form will be familiar to most nonfiction writers. By the time we encounter that material, we’ve been looking through Grealy’s eyes for two hundred and fifty pages. In this piece, Grealy describes the influence of her experiences of cancer, its treatments, and the resulting deformity of her face on her development as a person. As we can see through a study of “Mirrorings,” sometimes the book-length form opens up a whole range of possibilities for essaying. It’s only when she returns to the subject matter in book-length form that we see Grealy’s prose take off. Ernest W. Seaholm High School Think with reflection. "Mirrorings: to gaze upon my reconstructed face." It shows how this particular woman, shaped as well by her medical experiences, has huge barriers to overcome in order to fully accept herself. In the early nineties, a twenty-nine year old poet named Lucy Grealy published her first piece of nonfiction in Harper’s magazine. “Mirrorings” turned out to contain within its slim form the entire arc of her book, chapter by chapter, as well its ending, which Grealy pasted from the original essay virtually unchanged. Twenty years after its publication, Lucy Grealy’s bestselling memoir, At that point, beginning with the third paragraph, and stretching for nearly four thousand words (more than three-quarters of the essay), Grealy gives us a hurried history of her face. That slim essay, “Mirrorings” – just over 5500 words in all – went on to win a National Magazine Award and would serve as the blueprint for the best-selling book that followed a year and a half later. NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION The Board of Education is committed to maintaining a learning/working environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, free from discrimination and harassment. If the most vivid essays manufacture meaning out of unexpected digressions and juxtapositions, then the most tedious book-length memoirs adhere to an overly linear arc that leaves little for the reader to discover on her own. This statement is that she has never looked into a mirror or has thought of looking into a mirror. The Superintendent will designate compliance officers and develop and implement regulations for the reporting, investigation and resolution of complaints of discrimination or harassment. As she moves through her story, we see glimpses of the powerful, evocative images that will later make up whole chapters of. It wasn’t easy, for I’d never suspected just how omnipresent are our own images. and her tentative willingness to try to see herself for the woman she had become. But fortunately, expanding an essay into a book doesn’t always have to mean sacrificing the energy that’s native to the essay. This award-winning essay is the germ for Grealy's later book, Autobiography of a Face (see this database). And yet Grealy breezes through much of the most powerful material in “Mirrorings,” sketching her past with broad brushstrokes, as an artist might do when capturing a quick study that exists largely to serve as the template for a more expansive work. Act with compassion. But when given a larger canvas, Grealy has the room to do the work that essaying requires. In the early nineties, a twenty-nine year old poet named Lucy Grealy published her first piece of nonfiction in. Perform with honor. Essay Daily is a space for conversation about essays & essayists, contemporary and not. It effectively address the issue of how women are rewarded and punished for their appearance. The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Students - Inquiries related to discrimination on the basis of disability should be directed to: Executive Director of Special Education, 31301 Evergreen Road, Beverly Hills, MI 48025, 248.203.3000. She also explores how one's own interpretation of one's appearance can be self fulfilling. The District prohibits harassment and other forms of discrimination whether occurring at school, on District property, in a District vehicle, or at any District related activity or event. In this piece, Grealy describes the influence of her experiences of cancer, its treatments, and the resulting deformity of her face on her development as a person. In the case of “Mirrorings,” it was the essay, rather than the memoir, that took on a narrower and more linear quality. Direct all other inquiries related to discrimination to: Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, 31301 Evergreen Road, Beverly Hills, MI 48025, 248.203.3000. She can eschew transitions between chapters and allow herself all kinds of digressions, none of which made an appearance in the original essay.
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