Alva & Irva: The Twins Who Saved a City (Hardcover)

The Twins Who Saved a City

By Edward Carey

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151007820, 224pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2003



Alva and Irva Dapps are identical twin sisters who live in the city of Entralla. Like the Emerald City, Gondal, and Brobdingnag, only one guidebook to the place exists, and this novel is it. Alva is an explorer who longs to travel the world. Irva is a recluse for whom stepping outside the house is an ordeal. Yet the twins feel each other's emotions, think each other's thoughts, love and hate and suffer as one--they cannot survive without one another. And thereby hangs an inventive tale of creativity, obsession, and genius bred by necessity. Together, the twins build a model of the city on a scale that might accommodate the desires of both sisters and comes to serve Entralla in a way its creators never could have imagined.

Praise For Alva & Irva: The Twins Who Saved a City


"Funny, sad and provocative."--The Washington Post

"A macabre, colorful, morally complex first novel. A superb debut."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)