Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia

Carolyn Spiro, MD, Author, Pamela Spiro Wagner, Joint Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (318p) ISBN 978-0-312-32064-5

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. The condition, which afflicts Pamela (an award-winning poet), can be controlled with drugs and psychiatry, but never cured. When the twins were young, Pamela always outshone Carolyn. But in junior high, Pamela was beset by fears and began a lifelong pattern of cutting and burning herself. After the two entered Brown University, Pamela's decline into paranoia accelerated until she attempted suicide. During the ensuing years of Pamela's frequent breakdowns and hospitalizations, Carolyn became a psychiatrist, married and had two children. Empathetic and concerned, Carolyn nonetheless conveys her overwhelming frustration. and occasional alienation from her sister, when she is unable to help. Pamela's schizophrenia caused their father to sever his relationship with her. Remarkably descriptive, Pamela's account details how it feels to hear voices and to suspect evil in everyone. Though she struggles with her medications, Pamela remains a committed poet and is now reconciled with her father and close to her twin. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW . Agent, Elizabeth Frost Knappman . (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 05/16/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4668-0539-2
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-0-312-32065-2
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