writes another memoir: Twin: Overcoming Remoteness
Positive book review by Michael Roth (President, Wesleyan University) February 6, 2011
Excerpts from article:
It was only in recent years, as he prepared his subtly powerful and personal study of phobia, Wish I Could be There, that Shawn came to realize just how important Mary has been for him. Before that, all he felt "was a kind of blank place inside, where memories and feelings should have been." With Twin he tries to fill in that blank space, or at least to explore its contours.
Shawn writes beautifully, with an elegance, candor and tact that are remarkable. He is personal without ever being gossipy, and so this is not the book for those who want more dish concerning the decades-long secret relationship of his late father, New Yorker editor William Shawn, with staff writer Lillian Ross, or about the author's own 20-plus-year marriage to writer Jamaica Kincaid. His father's relationship is discussed because it now seems key to understanding the "religion of denial" in the Shawn household, but his own marriage and divorce are off-limits. Whether this is discretion or simply a continuation of the family tradition of avoidance is impossible to say.