Identical

IdenticalTackles perhaps the most difficult subject matter of all. It is about identical twins whose father is sexually abusing one of them.

I chose this subject matter because the issue touched the lives of three of my friends. Today, they are successful, beautiful women who you would never believe this might have happened to. I want readers to know it is possible to find a way beyond this terrible place, into a brighter future.


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Identical Excerpt

    Raeanne
    Mirror, Mirror

    When I look into a
    mirror,
    it is her face I see.
    Her right is my left, double
    moles, dimple and all.
    unblemished.

    We are exact
    opposites,
    Kaeleigh and me.
    Mirror-image identical
    twins. One egg, one sperm,
    one zygote, divided,
    sharing one complete
    set of genetic markers.

    On the outside
    we are the same. But not
    inside. I think
    she is the egg, so
    much like our mother
    it makes me want to scream.
    Cold.
    Controlled.
    That makes me the sperm,
    I guess. I take completely
    after our father.

    All Daddy, that’s me.
    Codependent.
    Cowardly.

    Good, bad. Left, right.
    Kaeleigh and Raeanne.
    One egg, one sperm.
    One being, split in two.

    And how many
    souls?


Identical received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly:

Hopkins’s gift with free verse reaches new heights in this portrait of splintered identical twins. . . . Kaeleigh and Raeanne maintain distinct voices throughout as they wrestle with psychic damage and an astonishing, devastating realization. Sharp and stunning, with a brilliant final page.
[starred review]

-Kirkus Reviews

Hopkins’s verse is not only lean and sinuous, it also demonstrates a mastery of technique. [starred review]

-Publishers Weekly


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