Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia
Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn S. Spiro, M.D.
St. Martin's Griffin
Growing up in the fifties, Carolyn Spiro was always in the shadow of her more intellectually dominant and social outgoing twin, Pamela. But as the twins approached adolescence, Pamela began to succumb to schizophrenia, hearing disembodied voices and eventually suffering many breakdowns and hospitalizations.
Divided Minds is a dual memoir of identical twins, one of whom faces a life sentence of schizophrenia, and the other who becomes a psychiatrist, after entering the spotlight that had for so long been focused on her sister. Told in the alternating voices of the sisters, Divided Minds is a heartbreaking account of the far reaches of madness, as well as the depths of ambivalence and love between twins. It is a true and unusually frank story of identical twins with very different identities and wildly different experiences of the world around them.
I know where Mrs. Jardin keeps the crowns, we all do. They are locked in a cabinet high above the utility sink in which we wash our paintbrushes...
Praise for Divided Minds
“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” —Publishers Weekly starred review
“[A] riveting memoir . . . Divided Minds does a remarkable job of interpreting [a] hellish realm.” —People, three stars
“[Divided Minds] successfully yields compelling insights on familial bonds and the ravaging effects of mental illness on family.” —Library Journal
“The combination of first-person narratives provides an unusually well-rounded portrait of schizophrenia.” —Kirkus