An excerpt from author and music faculty member Allen Shawn
's forthcoming memoir Twin
, to be published in January by Viking, will appear in this 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.