An excerpt from author and music faculty member Allen Shawn's forthcoming memoir Twin, to be published in January by Viking, appeared in last Sunday's (Dec. 4) New York Times.
Shawn's new book offers a poignant reflection on the inextricable bond and life-defining relationship he's shared with his autistic twin sister, Mary, who was placed in an institution for the mentally disabled at the age of eight.
"It wasn't until I reached late middle age that I could even begin to acknowledge that being Mary's twin was a central fact, perhaps the central fact, of my life," Shawn writes. "All I did feel was a kind of blank place inside, where memories and feelings should have been."
Read the entire excerpt here.
An award-winning composer, Shawn is also author of Arnold Schoenberg's Journey—which won the 2003 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award—and the critically acclaimed memoir Wish I Could Be There: Notes From a Phobic Life. His essays have also appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The Musical Times, and The Times Literary Supplement. For more on his work, click here.