Her: A Memoir by Christa Parravani, Audiobook (CD) | Barnes & Noble
Her

Her

4.2 18
by Christa Parravani
     
 

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Raised up from poverty by a determined single mother, gifted and beautiful twin sisters Christa and Cara Parravani were able to create a private haven of splendor and amusement that they shared between themselves. They earned their way into a prestigious college, established careers as artists (a photographer and a writer, respectively), and entered young marriages

Overview

Raised up from poverty by a determined single mother, gifted and beautiful twin sisters Christa and Cara Parravani were able to create a private haven of splendor and amusement that they shared between themselves. They earned their way into a prestigious college, established careers as artists (a photographer and a writer, respectively), and entered young marriages. But plagued by their father’s early rejection of them and further damaged by being raped as a young woman, Cara veered into depression, drugs, and a shocking early death.

Some time after Cara was gone, Christa read that when an identical twin dies, regardless of the cause, fifty percent of the time the surviving twin dies within two years. By then, that shocking statistic rang all too true. “Flip a coin,” she had come to think. “Those are my chances of survival.” While at first Christa had fought to stop Cara’s downward spiral, after her sister’s death she suddenly found herself struggling to survive her own.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Parravani’s prose paints her phoenix-like transformation such that the reader feels the flames of her life. . . . Raw and unstoppable, Her illuminates the triumph of the human spirit—both individual and shared.”
Booklist [HC starred review]

Entertainment Weekly
“Raw, feverish, and often harshly beautiful.”
Entertainment Weekly

BookPage
“Raw, feverish, and often harshly beautiful.”
Entertainment Weekly

The Bookwatch
“A finely wrought achievement of grace, emotional honesty, and self-possession.”
Publishers Weekly

Cosmopolitan
“Parranvani’s self-assured, unflinching writing belies her status as novice author. She writes candidly about life before and after her twin’s death.”
BookPage

Alice Elliot Dark
“Parravani delicately probes the fragile, intimate boundaries among love, identity and loss.”
Kirkus Reviews

From the Publisher
“Powerful memoir that comes to life in audio and deserves to be in any audio library.”
The Bookwatch

“It had me in nonstop tears.”
Cosmopolitan

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622311743
Publisher:
HighBridge Company
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged; 10.25 hours
Pages:
570
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Jayne Anne Phillips
Her ranks with the best American memoirs of the decade. . . . An uncompromising love poem to the joys and dangers of shared identity and an unforgettable treatise on addiction, trauma, survival, and triumph.”
—Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Lark and Termite and Machine Dreams

Alice Elliot Dark
“Christa Parravani writes with extraordinary emotional honesty. . . . The scenes between the sisters in this book are breathtaking. And Christa’s difficulty looking in the mirror after the death of her identical twin becomes the reader’s desire to see him- or herself, and the world, more sensitively. A fine and rare book.”
—Alice Elliott Dark, author of In the Gloaming and Think of England

Julie Metz
“I couldn’t stop . . . wondering what it would be like to be as close to another person as these sisters were to each other. An intense . . . journey, an inspiring book.”
—Julie Metz, author of The New York Times bestseller Perfection

Dorothy Allison
“The best memoirs should come with a warning label, the kind that makes you take a deep breath before you open the cover. Her announces its challenges immediately while also establishing the voice that will pull you through the darkness of loss, memory and expiation. Suddenly bereft, twinless, distrusting the talent that has been her mainstay . . . Christa Parravani carries us with her into the excavation of what it means to be a survivor, a lost twin and a woman digging herself out of her sister’s loss. That she comes out the other side is never predictable—merely miraculous.”
—Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina

Julie Orringer
“Out of a maelstrom of love, loss, and grief comes this beautiful clear-eyed memoir, one that reveals the power and peril of twinhood even as it explores ideas that affect us all: Why are we drawn to what may destroy us? What makes us hurt the ones we love? And when we experience tragedy, how do we keep grief from eating us alive? With a photographer’s sharp eye and a gifted writer’s penetrating insight, Parravani writes about being torn apart and then about piecing her life back together, brilliantly illuminating along the way what it means to be a sister, a daughter, a wife, an artist, and—ultimately, and triumphantly—herself.”
—Julie Orringer, author of The Invisible Bridge

Kerry Cohen
“Deeply thoughtful, lyrical, even magical. . . . There is rarely much redemption in losing the people we love, but Parravani transforms her pain into true beauty on the page.”
—Kerry Cohen, author of Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity

Meet the Author

CHRISTA PARRAVANI was born in Albany, New York and grew up on the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Anthony Swofford and their young daughter Josephine. Christa is an MFA graduate of Rutgers Newark. Christa is also an internationally exhibited photographer and two-time MacDowell fellow. She has taught at UMass Amherst, Dartmouth College and SUNY Purchase. She is represented by Foley Gallery in NYC and Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles.

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Her: A Memoir 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 18 reviews.
shopaholicDE More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book a lot - it was well written. I felt for her sister and I felt for the author what a tragedy. I wished the sister had been stronger at overcoming the horror that had happened to her but hey, life is rough and things take its toll worse on some than others. The only reason I backed down from five stars is because when I read a book to be a true five star it has to be memorable. This book ,while I was reading it, I was absolutely enthralled, but only a week later I can't remember hardly any parts of it - except a few of the really bad parts. I do highly recommend it. The way she writes is beautiful. There is one part that I remember that somewhat bothered me - at the funeral "one" of her fathers Mike, came to pay his respects and she kind of freaks on him - that bothered me a bit - I don't care who it is - unless that person did out and out harm to the person to pay respects at a funeral is not the time to be kicking them out!! I was a bit taken a back by that but her sister did just die and maybe the emotions were so high. I had a friend whose twin sister was raped and murdered (at age 13) and she wouldn't celebrate a birthday for about 15 years after that so - everyone grieves differently. You know what I am remembering this book I change it IS a five....
khakisalmon More than 1 year ago
This was a fascinating, beautifully written account of the connectedness of identical twins.  I couldn't put it down!  Christa Parravani is the real deal and I will look for more of her titles in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy read. I'm around the same age andalwaysfanisised as a child what it would be like to have a sister, this is the extreme version of that fantasy played out. In this version , it feels a bit like the genie that grants the wish has a dark and twisted sense of humor. "oh yeah. Just remember, u asked for it". Except it's a memoir...Comming from no advantages early on, to seriously, this is what life is gonna be like now? Into some sort of perspective, it's a powerful story. Check out author interview on NPR.
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I just finished this book and about half way threw I wanted a refund. The author is so poor me...Me....ME, that I ended up not feeling any empathy for either sister.