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One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular [Kindle Edition]

Abigail Pogrebin

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“Spot on. An honest explanation of how multiples feel about the relationship into which they were born.” —Newsweek

“An immensely satisfying, enlightening read.” —BookPage
“A fresh alternative to traditional how-to guidebooks for parents expecting two or more.” —Twins magazine

“This book about what it means to be a duplicate is smart and revealing and wise—and, well, singular.” —The Daily Beast
“[An] enchanting, fascinating book.” —Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” and Women on the Web 

One and the Same is a touching, funny, smart book, written with considerable flair. Though it contains medical, social, political, and historical perspectives, it is at its core a book about love and intimacy.” —Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon 
“A goldmine of information and insight into the twin experience. . . . One and the Same is not just for twins or parents of twins. It’s a study of everyone’s individuality. It looks at what makes us who we are and what shapes our identity. It’s a fascinating look at the world of twinship, as well as a compelling read about the search for one’s ‘self.’” —Twins Talk 
“A witty and compassionate guide to the myths and science of twinship.” —Honor Moore, author of The Bishop’s Daughter
“Pogrebin’s candor about her own twinship [is] endearing. . . . A juicy read.” —Bookslut
“A page-turner chock-filled with information about twins.” —Pamela Weinberg, co-author of bestselling parent guide City Baby
“Captivating. . . . This fascinating read is as much of a page-turner as the most exciting thriller.” —Bookreporter
“Funny, insightful, and deeply moving—as the mother of twins I found this a must read.” —Kerry Kennedy, author of Being Catholic Now
One and the Same beautifully captures the complex intriguing elements of identical twins’ unique joys and challenges. This candid exposé of the author’s own twinship experience, and that of others, provides a most delightful and informative look at this special relationship.” —Nancy L. Segal, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, CSU Fullerton and author of Entwined Lives and Indivisible by Two

From the Trade Paperback edition.


Journalist Abigail Pogrebin is many things—wife, mother, New Yorker—but the one that has defined her most profoundly is “identical twin.” As children, she and her sister, Robin, were inseparable. But when Robin began to pull away as an adult, Abigail was left to wonder not only why, but also about the very nature of twinship. What does it mean to have a mirror image? How can you be unique when somebody shares your DNA?
In One and the Same, Abigail sets off on a quest to understand how genetics shape us, crisscrossing the country to explore the varied relationships between twins, which range from passionate to bitterly resentful. She speaks to the experts and tries to answer the question parents ask most—is it better to encourage their separateness or closeness? And she paints a riveting portrait of twin life, yielding fascinating truths about how we become who we are.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  31 Rezensionen
21 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen As much of a page-turner as the most exciting thriller 26. Oktober 2009
Von Bookreporter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Because most of us will never know what it's like to be a twin, twinship is often seen as fascinating, mysterious and magical. In this captivating book, Abigail Pogrebin blends a memoir of her life as an identical twin with interviews of other twins, along with scientific reporting of the twin phenomenon.

I expected this book to be interesting (and it fully met my expectations), but I couldn't foretell how often it would make my heart ache. Abigail doesn't hold back, courageously revealing the sometimes painful longing she has for more closeness with Robin, her twin, while also discussing the wonderful aspects of their relationship. Although it isn't surprising to learn the strength of emotional intensity in being an identical twin, some aspects of the relationship are a revelation. Abigail tells readers that she has a life partner in her sister, someone with whom she is compelled to share her deepest thoughts and whose opinions she treasures. But there's another side to the coin: Abigail takes on any emotional distress Robin shares with her and is devastated by any spat with her sister. She also is frank about her sorrow in a certain recent distancing in their relationship, one emanating from Robin.

Abigail's personal story weaves between the tales of other twins, as well as interviews with experts on twin relationships. She begins with a meander through a town named for twins: Twinsburg, Ohio. Twinsburg celebrates twins with an annual Twins Day, which began in 1976. Today, thousands of pairs of twins from all over the world attend the event. Abigail, who visited it in 2006, was a bit embarrassed by the sight of many grown twins dressed identically, but she also felt off kilter without Robin. During her visit, Abigail met many fascinating twin couples, including the well-known Ganz twins, who call themselves the "ambassadors of twins." Debbie and Lisa Ganz not only opened a twins talent agency, but they also own the New York City Twins Restaurant, staffed with twin waiters. Abigail marvels that the Ganz sisters have celebrated and elevated their relationship, while other twins she meets at Twins Day have been frank about their romantic and social woes, which some blame on their strong connections with their siblings.

Experts, including psychologists and psychotherapists, contribute their theories about twin relationship pitfalls. Some believe that having a twin --- essentially a built-in best friend --- may delay social development. Feeling complete because of a twin relationship, some theorize, might also hinder a search for romance. In addition, it seems that some romantic partners of twins may feel especially challenged by the twin connection.

One set of twins Abigail interviews is football players Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber. The Barbers discuss their respective strengths and weaknesses. To Abigail, they seem to have the perfect twin relationship with achievements they've attained by helping each other thrive, a solid closeness and separate successful family lives. However, when other twins are interviewed, it is obvious that many have issues with separating from their twins. These problems can sometimes even result in estrangement.

As Abigail continues to research, she attends a twin parenting class, which seeks to instruct couples expecting multiple births. In their turn, mothers and fathers of twins have their say about the experience of parenting two tiny babies, an often overwhelming endeavor, complicated by the higher rate of prematurity. Experts also weigh in on the consequences and responsibilities of fertility specialists in regards to multiple births.

The subtitle of ONE AND THE SAME --- "My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular" --- expresses the theme of the book, a combined honoring of this most intimate bond along with the yearning to be an original person. From stories of heroism told by twin survivors of Auschwitz through a heartbreaking tale of shared DNA resulting in tragedy, this fascinating read is as much of a page-turner as the most exciting thriller.

--- Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen One of a kind but I wanted more... 5. November 2011
Von CaliAli - Veröffentlicht auf
As a grown identical twin I was so excited when I found this book! As we've gotten older, my twin sister and I have noticed that we are becoming more and more different. I think this has been somewhat more challenging for me than for her and I was hoping "One and the Same" would have stories that I could identify with. I loved all of the interviews she did with twins, especially when it was a set of twins being interviewed together. I know the feeling of sharing sentences, and even sharing memories!

I admired the authors extensive research into all sorts of twin related things-- science, art, pregnancy, IVF, even death-- but sometimes I wanted more stories! Rather than hearing about the ethical issues of IVF and the boom of twins that this has caused, I wanted to hear more stories from twins themselves or even parents of twins.

I did enjoy hearing about the full range of twins. While there are many shared traits, such as the undeniable intimacy, many sets had their own unique story: one is gay, one is needy, they grew up extremely shy, they grew up extremely confident. The book looks at the very romantic aspects of being a twin and also the darker, more challenging parts.

All in all, I definitely enjoyed reading this book, I was just not in it for the science. I am glad that there is a book out there like this, since I haven't been able to find anything else comparable. It makes me want to tell the story of my twinship and share it with others!
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen As an identical twin raising fraternal twins... I loved it. 29. Dezember 2009
Von scribe - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
People called me, in lieu of my "real name", "hey twin". Everyone assumed my twin and I (who are identical) were one and the same.

My mother's mother and her fraternal twin sister looked different enough that this didn't happen.

I am sure my sons won't suffer the same fate as I did. At least, I pray they won't. They are fraternals. But still and all, this book was and is amazing. It is a MUST read for every mother and father parenting twins out there. It encapulates the twin experience.

Since Abigail is a twin, she knows wherein she speaks. It takes a twin to be able to articulate the multiple/HOM experience and NO book out there about parenting twins (unless you happen to be a twin, parenting twins) and the unique identity and how careful you must be... is as succinct and helpful as this book.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting but not for expecting parents! 14. September 2011
Von JKBD - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I am the mother of identical twins, and absolutely loved the first half of this book. She interviews a ton of twins and I think hearing about their experiences will inform how I parent (hopefully make me a better parent!) and I also hope that one day my girls can read this book and it will help them with their own identities and struggles as twins.

That said, about half-way through the book she has a chapter on how horribly difficult it is to parent twins. This chapter was very negative, really surprised me, and perpetuated stereotypes that are simply not true for everyone. I know that I am very lucky in my experience and many parents have it harder the first few months to a year. But she focuses only on parents who had particularly hard experiences and doesn't have anything positive to say about how much fun, how magical, how fabulous it can be to have twins. I loved the first year (except the sleep loss and returning to work!) and I just want to say to any expecting moms who are looking at this book, it doesn't have to be a nightmare!

She also talks a bit about twins establishing a rivalry in the first few months over who gets fed first. Most parents I know co-fed, either tandem nursing (like myself) or tandem bottle feeding. This was just another example of how the parenting conversations in the book fell flat. I think the fact that she was reaching outside her experience zone really shows, and (for me) it detracted from the book overall.

From there, the book also got fairly dark. She raises interesting issues - from a guy who lost his twin in 9/11 to twins who survived Auschwitz - but the book left me feeling pretty depressed, which I had not expected. The fact that her twin relationship is in a difficult place right now permeates the whole book and twin-ship come across as a negative experience.

Overall, I did enjoy the book; it was interesting and thought-provoking. I will share it with my family and with a friend who is dating a twin. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is expecting twins or whose twins are less than a year old. Once you are past that stage it is an interesting read.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating book even for someone who isn't a twin. 1. November 2009
Von Gretchen C. Rubin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I'm not a twin, but I've always been fascinated by the twin relationship, especially that of identical twins. This account is riveting, especially the sections where the author writes about her own relationship with her identical twin sister. Many aspects of twinship are explored -- how the genetics plays out, effect of fertility technology on twins, separation, competition -- all fascinating.

I read the book in two sittings.
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