On Vanishing Twins

“I'm captivated by Dieterich's naive but searching and intelligent narrator; the connections she ties between typography and twinning and ballet and sex are unexpected and frequently magical. I love this book.”


– Sarah Manguso, Author of Ongoingness, The Guardians and The Two Kinds of Decay


One-eighth of all natural pregnancies begin as twins, the book said, but early in pregnancy, one twin becomes less viable and is compressed against the wall of the uterus or absorbed by the other twin.

When Leah Dieterich reads this little-known fact, she thinks: Of course. I lost my twin. Vanishing Twin Syndrome, as the phenomenon is called, gives her a way to understand her lifelong hunger to be part of an intimate pair—beginning with friends, dance partners, and her own reflection in the mirror as she grows up and trains to be a ballerina, continuing in college with intense physical and emotional attractions to her girlfriends, remaining with her as she falls in love, moves across the country, and marries Eric. Her steadfast, monogamous relationship leaves her with questions about her sexuality, her body, and her identity, so she and her husband decide to try open marriage.

Can a young couple make room for their individual desires, their evolving selfhoods, and their artistic ambitions while building a life together? Dieterich looks for answers in psychology, science, pop culture, art, architecture, Greek mythology, dance, and language, to create a lucid, suspenseful portrait of a woman testing the limits and fluidities of love.  


Vanishing Twins is published by Soft Skull Press. The book will be available for pre-order through their website in December 2017.