a line drawing of a face with a sprig of leaves covering one side

Smile: The Story of a Face

by Sarah Ruhl Author

A smile is one of the things that makes us who we are. It identifies us in its specificity, in its ability to convey emotion. It is one of an actor's most important tools. So when Sarah Ruhl found herself unable to move half of her face just as she was about to open a Broadway play, it was understandably distressing. After a diagnosis of Bell's palsy, Ruhl hoped that her symptoms would spontaneously improve and that she would fully recover, like 90 percent of Bell's palsy patients. But after months of waiting, Ruhl still had seen no improvement. In this new memoir, follow along with Ruhl as she navigates life without the use of half of her face, her journey as a patient, postpartum depression, and the struggles of being a working mother to three children. A testament to the value of resilience and hope in the face of adversity, Smile is a must read for those struggling with chronic medical conditions and for playwrights and theater lovers everywhere.