Author(s): Christa Parravani


"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.


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"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"""Her "instantly became my reading obsession....Parravani tackles her potentially melodramatic material with forthrightness and a flair for the darkly comic, while also remaining witchily true to the romantic uncanniness of twinhood. The tone she strikes is brashly ghoulish and heart twanging, the route through her past artfully circuitous. "Her "invites obsessional reader behavior because Parravani has the ability to make life, even at its worst, feel magic-tinged and vital and lived all the way down to the bone. She spins out of her dire experiences an enthralling story laced with weird luck and coincidences....The final sentence, honest to god, made me cry."--Heidi Julavits, "Bookforum""Parravani succeeds in 'writing Cara back to life' and saving her own life in the process. No punches are pulled here, and Parravani's matter-of-fact tone does nothing to shield readers from the enormity of her loss....Imagine looking in a mirror and not seeing yourself. Imagine living the rest of your life with half of yourself missing. Imagine looking at your own corpse. You don't have to imagine: Parravani's story makes it all clear."--"Library Journal" (Starred)"Concise and captivating, Parravani's prose paints her phoenix-like transformation such that the reader feels the flames of her fire. A poignant, book-arcing metaphor illustrates Christa's battle to accept herself with a mirror-image. Raw and unstoppable, Her illuminates the triumph of the human spirit - both individual and shared."--"Booklist" (Starred)"Christa Parravani powerfully transforms her anguish over the traumatic death of her troubled identical sister into the astonishing "Her.""--"Vanity Fair""

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.

General Fields

  • : 9781250044396
  • : Picador USA
  • : Picador USA
  • : 0.272
  • : February 2014
  • : 208mm X 137mm X 25mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Christa Parravani
  • : Paperback / softback
  • : 2015
  • : 306.875092
  • : 308