Beauty by Sheri Tepper covered some very powerful issues which are seen as "important". I think that some of those issues tore her character Beauty apart faster than the reader could learn to relate to her, and that there is a danger of the reader thinking back on the text and considering, "What did I read or learn about" when summarising, rather than considering, "What did I learn", which is much more important. I think that Now and Then, Here and There covered some of the important issues in Beauty much better. The character portrayal was excellent, it's hard to believe sometimes that they didn't have separate writers developing each character. Many of the important issues were addressed using separate characters, avoiding some of the confusion that could affect such a dense production. There is much more I would say about it, but I think it stands for itself and should be watched.
I also think that for Sheri Tepper, Grass was much better descriptive writing and contains one of the best "first two pages" of all time.