January 20, 2011
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store is glad to welcome pianist and composer ALLEN SHAWN discusses his newest memoir, Twin, about growing up as the twin brother of a sister with autism.
When Allen Shawn and his sister, Mary, were two, Mary began exhibiting signs of what would be diagnosed many years later as autism. Understanding Mary and making her life a happy one appeared to be impossible for the Shawns. At the age of eight, with almost no warning, her parents sent Mary to a residential treatment center. She never lived at home again.
Fifty years later, as he probed the sources of his anxieties in his previous memoir, Wish I Could Be There, Shawn realized that his fate was inextricably linked to his sister's, and that their natures were far from being different.
Twin highlights the difficulties American families coping with autism faced in the 1950s. Shawn also examines the secrets and family dramas as his father, William, became editor of The New Yorker. Twin reconstructs a parallel narrative for the two siblings, who experienced such divergent fates yet shared talents and proclivities.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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