A leading expert on twins delves into the stories behind her research to reveal the profound joys and real-life traumas of twelve remarkable sets of twins, triplets, and quadruplets.
Indivisible by Two introduces us to an assortment of memorable characters, from the “Fireman Twins”—brothers who, though reared separately, are astonishingly similar in personality and behavioral traits—to the twin sisters who overcame one twin’s infertility by having the other serve as her surrogate mother. We meet one of the few identical brother–sister pairs in the world after one of two sisters was surgically transformed into a man, and identical triplet brothers, only one of whom is gay while the others are straight. We see uniquely blended families—identical twin brothers marrying identical twin sisters, and Chinese twins adopted by different Canadian families yet raised as sisters.
Being a twin can also render the experience of historical tragedy uniquely painful. We meet Stepha and Annetta, survivors of Josef Mengele’s heinous experiments in Auschwitz, and untangle the troubled lifelong tie between Jack and Oskar, born in the 1930s to a Jewish father and a German Gentile mother, one raised as a Jew in Trinidad and the other as a Catholic and a member of the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany.
Nancy Segal unravels these stories and others with an eye for the challenges that life as a twin (or triplet or quadruplet) can pose to parents, friends, and spouses, as well as the twins themselves. These moving stories remind us how incompletely any theory explains real life—twin or not.
[A] fascinating explanation of the lives and experiences of twins… Segal’s book is a rich source of answered and still unanswered questions about twins and twinships, and it leaves us wanting to know more.
If you have even the mildest curiosity about how the lives of twins and multiples are woven together, you will want to read Nancy L. Segal’s new book, Indivisible by Two: Lives of Extraordinary Twins… Every story reveals fascinating insight into the physical and emotional ties that bind identical multiples. These glimpses into multiples’ lives raise questions about our own lives and families.
Indivisible by Two by Nancy Segal is a feast of stories about monozygotic (identical) twins. It demonstrates the variety of unusual experiences that sometimes come with twinship.
Each of the dozen stories provides fascinating reading… Each chapter in its own right provides insight into the special bonding between twins.
Nancy Segal…moves beyond the confines of the research laboratory, immersing the reader in the multifaceted uniqueness of living life as a twin. Using compelling illustrations of the twins’ entwined lives, Segal shows how the combination of an identical heredity and an unusual psychological closeness sustains lifelong similarities in wide-ranging psychological traits. At the same time, she offers many examples of the power of the non-shared environment to induce profound individual differences between pair members… Segal’s scholarly and literary talents make Indivisible by Two an informative, accessible, and pleasurable read for diverse audiences.
In Indivisible by Two, Professor Segal focuses on 12 diverse case studies of, almost exclusively, monozygotic (MZ; or identical) twins or higher multiples, Each example is so unique in its own way that the reader is left to wonder at the extensiveness of Professor Segal’s case notes that she is able to create a book with so many examples that are so different. It is a credit to her that so many twins and their families are willing to share their experiences with her, invite her into their lives and agree to have their stories included in a book. Her attention to detail, humor and chatty style will ensure the book’s appeal to a far-reading audience.
[Segal] has interviewed and observed numerous sets of twins, recording the results in this fascinating study and engrossing collection of narratives… The connection between twins is irrefutably special; readers will no doubt be enchanted.
What E. O. Wilson did for ants, Nancy Segal has done for twins… She has the ability to reach out and communicate with an infectious enthusiasm to both young minds and seasoned scientists.
People have always thought that as twin athletes we were unique. Now, having read Nancy Segal’s book, we’re amazed at how many other twins can be so alike and so different at the same time. Indivisible by Two was a great read!
A gripping collection of vignettes on an eternally fascinating phenomenon, Indivisible by Two is a wonderful book for its scientific implications, its human interest, and its literary quality.
- 288 pages
- 5-1/16 x 7-7/8 inches
- Harvard University Press
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