Twin Cover


A Memoir

By Allen Shawn

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143120223, 232pp.

Publication Date: February 28, 2012

"Extraordinary...An unsparing but deeply compassionate inquiry into family] life."
-Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"

As Allen Shawn probed the sources of his anxieties while writing the acclaimed "Wish I Could Be There," he realized that his fate was inextricably linked to his autistic twin sister. Mary, who has lived in a residency center for more than fifty years. "Twin" offers a deeply personal account of their divergent lives, and examines society's changing attitudes toward and understanding of autism. It also provides an intimate look at the Shawns' idiosyncratic family life with their father, the famed longtime editor of "The New Yorker," William Shawn. Wrenching, honest, understated, and poetic, "Twin" is at heart about the mystery of being profoundly bonded to someone who can never be truly understood.

About the Author
Allen Shawn, a composer, is on the faculty of Bennington College.