about my work on conjoined twins
On conjoined twins:
If you’re interested in conjoined twinning, you really ought to read One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal (widely praised) and you really ought to see Face to Face: The Schappell Twins, a documentary by the brilliant filmmaker (and now, happily, my friend) Ellen Weissbrod. I’ve been told again and again that these two materials work especially well for teaching about anatomical politics and medical normalization.
I’ve also written several editorials about conjoined twin separations. Of these, I would most recommend:
- When Medicine Goes Too Far in the Pursuit of Normality (New York Times)
- Separate Together (Wall Street Journal)
I would also recommend these pieces, based on interviews I did with particularly intelligent journalists:
- Laurie Abraham, Separation Anxiety, New York Magazine, August 22, 2005
- interview with To the Best of Our Knowledge (NPR)
- SciFi Dimensions, podcast about conjoined twins, April 7, 2009
If, like just about everybody, you’re curious about the sex lives of conjoined twins, read this, and be frustrated if you must.
On exhibitions of people with uncommon body types:
On this topic, I’d recommend:
- Dr. Oz Can’t Afford Me (why I won’t be a part of Oz’s freak shows).
- Lavish Dwarf Entertainment (the story of why I hired a dwarf-entertainer friend for my 40th birthday party; selected for Norton’s Best Creative Non-Fiction).
- my butterdish-winning essay, Jarring Bodies: Thoughts on the Display of Unusual Anatomies.
- the issue of Atrium dedicated to the question of what to do with fetuses and people preserved in jars.
You could also look at chapter four of One of Us, and see Face to Face: The Schappell Twins, a documentary that takes seriously what it means for conjoined twins to get out of medical books and go out to dinner.