Magazine article Herizons

LITERARY TWIN PEAKS [26a] [Ladykiller] [the Girls]

Magazine article Herizons

LITERARY TWIN PEAKS [26a] [Ladykiller] [the Girls]

Article excerpt

Three fabulous books released in 2005 feature stories about twin sisters. Each of them is fascinating, especially in the ways the authors probe the bond between twins and the ways the authors write about the characters' sexuality.

U.K. writer Diana Evans took the Orange Prize honouring new writers for her debut novel 260, (Bond Street/Doubleday), the story of twin sisters who share a loft in their parents' London home. Dad drinks too much, and when he does can be very scary. Mum misses her home in Nigeria terribly, so much that her dead mother keeps appearing, magic realism-style. Together, sisters Bessi and Georgia construct their own universe as a means of protection. They're not entirely successful.

Evans, a twin whose sister suffered from severe depression, mines her own experience to probe an unusual love. It's clear that, regardless of what happens to the characters in their personal lives, theirs will be their primary relationship.

Charlotte Gill's Ladykiller (Thomas Alien), a collection of short stories shortlisted for the Giller Prize-at this writing I can't tell you who wonincludes a powerful piece called "Homology." It tracks 20-something twin sisters who can't decide whether they love or hate each other, but still plan a holiday in Thailand. In other words, even though their relationship is obviously toxic, the women can't let each other go.

And Lori Lansens' awesome The Girls (Random House), my choice as the best book of 2005, gets inside the heads of Ruby and Rose. The difference here is that Ruby and Rose are conjoined twins, attached at the side of the head in such a way that they cannot be separated. Ruby, the beautiful one, and Rose, the stronger one who basically must carry Ruby around with her, can never let each other go. Their story is about how they find a way to live with each other; the word compromise has a whole new meaning in lives like theirs. …

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