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Sarah Ruhl

Smile: The Story of a Face

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Regular price Sale price $38.00 SGD
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By Sarah Ruhl

The extraordinary story of a woman who finds one half of her face paralysed, and the 10-year journey she embarks on in search of a cure.

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256


LONGLISTED FOR 2022 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE
BEST BOOKS OF 2021 BY CHICAGO TRIBUNE, PEOPLE, REAL SIMPLE, THE WASHINGTON POST AND TIME MAGAZINE

With a play opening on Broadway, and every reason to smile, Sarah Ruhl has just survived a high-risk pregnancy when she discovers the left side of her face is completely paralysed. She is assured that 90 percent of Bell’s palsy patients see spontaneous improvement and experience a full recovery. Like Sarah's own mother.

But Sarah is in the unlucky ten percent. And for a woman, wife, mother, and artist working in theater, the paralysis and the disconnect between the interior and exterior brings significant and specific challenges. So she begins an intense decade-long search for a cure while simultaneously grappling with the reality of her new face—one that, while recognizably her own—is incapable of accurately communicating feelings or intentions.

In a series of piercing, witty, and lucid meditations, Sarah chronicles her journey as a patient, wife, mother, and artist. She explores the struggle of a body yearning to match its inner landscape, the pain of postpartum depression, the story of a marriage, being a playwright and working mom to three small children, and the desire for a resilient spiritual life in the face of illness.

Brimming with insight, humility, and levity, Smile is a triumph by one of America’s leading playwrights. It is an intimate examination of loss and reconciliation, and above all else, the importance of perseverance and hope in the face of adversity.

Read if you: can't even spend two minutes finding a Word document on your desktop without giving up.