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Divided Minds

Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia

Pamela Spiro Wagner, Carolyn Spiro


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Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (3/20/2018)
MP3 CD (3/20/2018)
Hardcover (7/28/2005)


Growing up in the fifties, Carolyn Spiro was always in the shadow of her more intellectually dominant and social outgoing twin, Pamela. But as the twins approached adolescence, Pamela began to succumb to schizophrenia, hearing disembodied voices and eventually suffering many breakdowns and hospitalizations.

Divided Minds is a dual memoir of identical twins, one of whom faces a life sentence of schizophrenia, and the other who becomes a psychiatrist, after entering the spotlight that had for so long been focused on her sister. Told in the alternating voices of the sisters, Divided Minds is a heartbreaking account of the far reaches of madness, as well as the depths of ambivalence and love between twins. It is a true and unusually frank story of identical twins with very different identities and wildly different experiences of the world around them.

Praise For Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia

“This harrowing but arresting memoir—written in alternating voices by identical twins, now in their 50s—reveals how devastating schizophrenia is to both the victim and those who love her” —Publishers Weekly starred review

“[A] riveting memoir . . . Divided Minds does a remarkable job of interpreting [a] hellish realm.” —People, three stars

“[Divided Minds] successfully yields compelling insights on familial bonds and the ravaging effects of mental illness on family.” —Library Journal

“The combination of first-person narratives provides an unusually well-rounded portrait of schizophrenia.” —Kirkus

St. Martin's Griffin, 9780312320652, 336pp.

Publication Date: August 8, 2006

About the Author

PAMELA SPIRO WAGNER is a writer and poet living in Wethersfield, Connecticut. She is the winner of the 1993 Connecticut Mental Health Media Award, Tunxis Poetry Review First Prize for three consecutive years, and the 2002 BBC International Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in The Hartford Courant, Tikkun, Trinity Review, Midwest Poetry Review, and LA Weekly. She is co-author of Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia.

CAROLYN S. SPIRO, M.D., is a private practice psychiatrist living in Wilton, Connecticut.