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Herby Christa Parravani
Synopses & Reviews
Wall Street Journal, “Favorite Books of the Year 2013”
Cosmopolitan, “Best Books of the Year for Women”
Library Journal, “Best Books of 2013”
Salon, “Best Books of 2013”
"Haunting... more than a beautifully written memoir. [A] powerful and raw love letter."—The Washington Post
A BLAZINGLY PASSIONATE MEMOIR OF IDENTITY AND LOVE: WHEN A CHARISMATIC AND TROUBLED YOUNG WOMAN DIES TRAGICALLY, HER IDENTICAL TWIN MUST STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE
Christa Parravani and her identical twin, Cara, were linked by a bond that went beyond siblinghood, beyond sisterhood, beyond friendship. Raised up from poverty by a determined single mother, the gifted and beautiful twins were able to create a private haven of splendor and merriment between themselves and then earn their way to a prestigious college and to careers as artists (a photographer and a writer, respectively) and to young marriages. But, haunted by childhood experiences with father figures and further damaged by being raped as a young adult, Cara veered off the path to robust work and life and in to depression, drugs and a shocking early death.
A few years after Cara was gone, Christa read that when an identical twin dies, regardless of the cause, 50 percent of the time the surviving twin dies within two years; and this shocking statistic rang true to her. "Flip a coin," she thought," those were my chances of survival." First, Christa fought to stop her sister's downward spiral; suddenly, she was struggling to keep herself alive.
Beautifully written, mesmerizingly rich and true, Christa Parravani's account of being left, one half of a whole, and of her desperate, ultimately triumphant struggle for survival is informative, heart-wrenching and unforgettably beautiful.
A BLAZINGLY PASSIONATE MEMOIR OF IDENTITY AND LOVE: WHEN A CHARISMATIC AND TROUBLED YOUNG WOMAN DIES TRAGICALLY, HER IDENTICAL SISTER MUST STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE.
Raised up from poverty by a determined single mother, the gifted and beautiful twins Cara and Christa Parravani shielded each other from family violence and loss with playfulness and creativity. They went on to earn scholarships to a prestigious college and began careers as artists. But when Cara fell victim to a shocking act of brutality, she became unable to keep her demons at bay and veered into depression, drugs, and a shocking early death.
Studies of twins have shown that when an identical twin dies, regardless of the cause, the surviving twins life is immediately at risk. First, Christa fought to keep her sister alive; then she struggled to keep from drowning in her loss.
Her, Christa Parravanis account of being left, one half of a whole, and of her desperate, ultimately triumphant struggle for survival is informative, heart-wrenching, and unforgettably beautiful.
About the Author
Christa Parravani is a writer and photographer. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally, and are represented by the Michael Foley Gallery in New York City and the Kopeikin gallery in Los Angeles. She has taught photography at Dartmouth College, Columbia University and UMass, Amherst. She earned her MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University and her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers Newark. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the writer Anthony Swofford (Jarhead) and their daughter.
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