This is a story that, when told directly, shuts people up, the kind of story that drives people to change the subject, or cross the street when they see the teller coming. In 1949, author Dorothy Foltz-Gray and her identical twin sister, Deane, were born. In 1981, Deane, then a psychologist, was fatally shot by one of her patients. In the years between, the pair formed an almost supernaturally close bond, one so intimate that at times, their memories fused and their individual ...
This is a story that, when told directly, shuts people up, the kind of story that drives people to change the subject, or cross the street when they see the teller coming. In 1949, author Dorothy Foltz-Gray and her identical twin sister, Deane, were born. In 1981, Deane, then a psychologist, was fatally shot by one of her patients. In the years between, the pair formed an almost supernaturally close bond, one so intimate that at times, their memories fused and their individual identities dimmed.
Here, Foltz-Gray, an award-winning poet and journalist, recounts not only the extraordinary phenomenon of growing up in a world that could not distinguish her from another human being, but also the struggle to survive the loss of her twin. Foltz-Gray describes the imagined womb life she and her sister shared, their childhood and family, and their dreams of sharing each other’s lives. She also details the nightmare of her sister’s death, its immediate aftermath, and her attempts to recover her self.
With and Without Her is the story of what happens when a life divides into before and after. It is a story of identity and individuation, confusion and competition, intimacy and separation, violence and murder. Most of all, it is the story we all face, of loss and survival.
"Dorothy Foltz-Gray's writing makes you feel as if you are living her life—and loss—along with her. She conveys the unique connectedness of being a twin, the particular pain of being so violently separated, and her journey toward healing with language that's alive with honesty, heartache, even humor."
"Whoever said 'a picture is worth a thousand words' clearly never read anything written by Dorothy Foltz-Gray. Line by line, word by exquisite word, Foltz-Gray recreates not just the world in which we live, the world we see and touch, but the worlds we hold within – the worlds we feel. In With and Without Her, her tribute to her late twin sister, Deane, she does it again: With her, we laugh. With her, we weep. This is their story – Deane and Dorothy’s, and Dorothy’s a
"With and Without Her is a poignant look inside the deepest of twinships, that of the split egg, an identical, and the wrenching grief and disorientation when that other half is ripped away. Foltz-Gray writes with courageous intimacy about her sister’s murder and her own struggle to live on as a singleton."
"Identical twins -- to crib a bit from F. Scott Fitzgerald - '... are different from you and me.' In pulling back the curtain on the uncommonly strong ties that bind siblings who come from a single egg, Dorothy Foltz-Gray chronicles her lifelong journey to find her own self in relation to her twin and soulmate, feeling her way through sameness and separateness until the ultimate separation - her sister’s brutal murder - is forced upon her. As Foltz-Gray staggers through the shattered kale
Dorothy Foltz-Gray has been a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, and personal essays for 18 years. A former editor of books (business and medical) and magazines (fiction, lifestyle) at Whittle Communications in Knoxville, Tennessee, she is the author of With and Without Her; Clean Sweep; Make Pain Disappear; Alternative Treatments for Arthritis: An A to Z Guide; and co-author of Food Cures. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit; Cooking Light; Good Housekeeping; Health; Ladies Home Journal; Parenting; Prevention; O, The Oprah Magazine; Reader's Digest; Real Simple; Woman's Day; and others. She is a winner of the Tennessee Arts Comission Fellowship for Poetry; a Mature Media Gold Award; and an East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, Dan.