The Silent Twinssynopsis:
marjorie wallace, 1986
'The Silent Twins' is the intriguing story of two twins, June and Jennifer Gibbons. Born in 1963, to parents who had emigrated from Barbados to England, the twins stood out in the rural communities where their father was stationed with the RAF simply because of their skin colour. Initially thought by their family to suffer from nothing more serious than crippling shyness, the twins progressed through school largely refusing to communicate with anyone but each other and, occasionally their younger sister. the communicated in a secret language, using all sorts of communication in diaries, poems, etc. They have written almost a million words recording every detail of their emotions - their passionate struggle for identity and their conflicting desires for escape form and union with each other. Despite being transferred to special schools, the girls reached adulthood with no hope of achieving normal goals such as jobs, friendships and marriage. Chillingly, teachers and therapists thought one twin to be the very personification of evil.
Life became a constant battle, both for the twins and between them. Confined to their room by choice and living as virtual recluses, they tried desperately to achieve normality - or, at least, what they perceived as normality - by mail order. They ventured out only to experiment with drugs, alcohol, glue sniffing and casual sex, all the while maintaining the elaborate rituals and games upon which they had come to believe that their very life depended. Gradually, their excursions into the real world began to involve first petty, then major crimes. they were ultimately sent to Broadmoore - Britain's notorious hospital for for the criminally insane.
The relationship between June and Jennifer is one of simultaneous love and hate. Each twin is pathologically jealous of the other, each believes that she would be better off if the other simply didn't exist. Yet, at the same time, each feels as though her very life depends on her twin - they are, quite simply, two halves of a whole, constantly fighting for an individuality and supremacy that neither can achieve while the other is alive.
on this book:
Marjorie Wallace, with the full co-operation of the twins and their family and access to the twins teachers and therapists, has produced a fascinating documentation of this story. The Gibbons twins seem at times to be mentally ill, geniuses and educationally subnormal in equal measures. At times they seem monsters from another world, at others troubled teenagers to be pitied. The reader admitted into their dark, troubled world courtesy of their biographer, experiences a whole range of emotions as the book unfolds to its dramatic conclusion. It contains two sections of black and white photographs of the twins at various stages of childhood and young adulthood and also several reproductions of the twins' personal artwork and writings.wallace also assisted by the making of a television documentary about the gibbons twins, also called the silent twins (1985).
msp's song tsunami was inspired by the story of the silent twins; see tsunami [phrases].