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You are about to meet two extraordinary brothers. Born attached at the chest, Chang and Eng Bunker were the Siamese twins for whom the term was coined, one of the nineteenth century's most fabled human oddities. Now Darin Strauss has rescued the twins from the sideshow of history, drawing from their extraordinary conjoined lives a first novel of exceptional beauty. Taken from Thailand as adolescents, Chang and Eng toured the world's stages, finding celebrity while performing in a cage. Fighting for respect their whole lives, they were greeted by royalty, toasted by London, and yet mocked by carnival crowds. The twins eventually married two sisters and embarked on one of history's most fascinating and unlikely romantic journeys as they fathered twenty-one children. But the most compelling and mysterious relationship they endured was their own. Narrated by Eng, Chang and Eng follows the twins from poverty to wealth, from solitude to boundless love, from the court of the King of Siam to the crowded bedroom of their North Carolina home. This is an unforgettable and sublimely moving story that reveals above all the longings and humanity of these remarkable twins. Darin Strauss has written a daring and bold debut: the perfect mixture of historical research and imagination to unveil the two very separate lives--and the shared life-- of Chang and Eng.
In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his dad's Oldsmobile, driving with friends, heading off to play mini-golf. Then: a classmate swerved in front of his car. The collision resulted in her death. With piercing insight and stark prose, Darin Strauss leads us on a deeply personal, immediate, and emotional journey--graduating high school, going away to college, starting his writing career, falling in love with his future wife, becoming a father. Along the way, he takes a hard look at loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and, at last, acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force.Look for special features inside, including an interview with Colum McCann.Join the Circle for author chats and more.RandomHouseReadersCircle.comFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Josh Goldin was savoring a Friday afternoon break in the coffee room, harmlessly flirting with coworkers while anticipating the weekend at home where his wife, Dori, waited with their eight-month-old son, Zack. And then Josh's secretary rushed in, using words like intensive care, lost consciousness, blood... That morning, Dori had walked into the emergency room with her son in severe distress. Enter Dr. Darlene Stokes: an African-American physician and single mother whose life is dedicated both to her own son and navigating the tricky maze of modern-day medicine. But something about Dori stirred the doctor's suspicions. Darlene had heard of the sensational diagnosis of Munchausen by Proxy, where a mother intentionally harms her baby, but had never come upon a case of it before. It was rarely diagnosed and extraordinarily controversial. Could it possibly have happened here? As their four lives intersect with dramatic consequences, Darlene, Dori, and Josh are pushed to their breaking points as they confront the nightmare that has become their new reality. Darin Strauss's extraordinary novel is set in a world turned upside down, where doctors try to save babies from their parents, police use the law to tear families apart, and the people you know the best end up surprising you the most.
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