J o h n  M e d e i r o s

Self, Divided

Winner of the 2020

Howling Bird Press

Nonfiction Prize

In 1995, my identical twin brother and I participated in a gene therapy study for discordant twins in which the HIV-positive twin was infused with billions of genes from the HIV-negative twin. This memoir details, from a firsthand perspective, a time in our recent history when the world had to reckon with the emergence of a seemingly undefeatable virus.

Self, Divided explores the dysfunctional yet enduring relationships that surround this pivotal moment in our lives, evocatively capturing how we all are connected, in one way or another, to those around us.

What others are saying:

"Self, Divided is an immersive journey to the self's "true north" against the backdrop of identical twinship, growing up working class, coming out, and living with HIV/AIDS. Captivating not only for Medeiros's evocative lyricism, but also for his original and imaginative use of narrative space, his quest to create an identity all his own is a sad, funny, and memorable story of growth against the odds, written in the language of hard-won victory."

Brian Malloy
The Year of Ice
and After Francesco

"Most memoirs grapple with the individual seen again, but for John Medeiros this mirroring is literal. Self, Divided considers the author's life as an identical twin. One brother is gay and HIV-positive, the other a straight Christian, each part of a whole that will not divide, even in times of desperate separation. How can two men, internmingled since birth but whose life paths diverge, come to truly brother one another? Rendered in lyric form that is at once severed and continuous, this memoir pulses deep."

Barrie Jean Borich
Apocalypse, Darling and Body Geographic

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