Leah Dieterich lays all of her insecurities and uncertainties excruciatingly bare in this excavation of her marriage. Using compelling prose, she peels back the surface of everything, and it is mesmerizing; she digs until she understands what she feels, what she wants, and why she wants it. Exploring open marriage, bisexuality, honesty, and fear, this is an eye-opening dissertation on love, desire, commitment, and human nature — and Dieterich holds nothing back in the mining of her life. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
For as long as she can remember, Leah has had the mysterious feeling that she’s been searching for a twin — that she should be part of an intimate pair. It begins with dance partners as she studies ballet growing up; continues with her attractions to girlfriends in college; and leads her, finally, to Eric, whom she moves across the country for and marries. But her steadfast, monogamous relationship leaves her with questions about her sexuality and her identity, so she and her husband decide to try an open marriage.
How does a young couple make room for their individual desires, their evolving selfhoods, and their artistic ambitions while building a life together? Can they pursue other sexual partners, even live in separate cities, and keep their original passionate bond alive? Vanishing Twins looks for answers in psychology, science, pop culture, art, architecture, Greek mythology, dance, and language to create a lucid, suspenseful portrait of a woman testing the limits and fluidities of love.
"Dieterich fully embraces the art of introspection in this unique memoir. Her prose, dispatched in pagelong ruminations, establishes thought-provoking connections . . . In these poetically written episodes, the author ponders the nature of love, attraction, and identity through literature, pop culture, psychology, femininity, and the delicate nuances of being a 'beautiful and controlled' ballerina. Graceful snapshots of a life that lyrically coalesce into expressive declarations of identity and intimacy." Kirkus Reviews
"The themes in Vanishing Twins are at once timeless and contemporary: what does it mean to be both wife and artist, both partner and individual? Leah Dieterich's singular explorations of these ideas paired with her sharp, nimble sentences made it impossible for me to put this book down." Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I'm Someone Else
"I'm captivated by Dieterich's naive but searching and intelligent narrator; the connections she ties between typography and twinning and ballet and sex are unexpected and frequently magical. I love this book." Sarah Manguso, author of 300 Arguments
About the Author
Leah Dieterich’s essays and short fiction have been published by Buzzfeed, BOMB, The Nervous Breakdown, and The Offing. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.