Announced June 18, 1998
About the Book
"It's not just a book, it's a life experience," trumpeted Oprah about her selection, I Know This Much Is True. Faithful readers familiar with her phenomenally successful book club read Wally Lamb's stunning debut novel, She's Come Undone, back in February, 1997.
Now, this brilliantly talented writer returns with I Know This Much Is True. Set against the vivid panoply of twentieth-century America and filled with richly drawn, memorable characters, this deeply moving and thoroughly satisfying novel brings to light humanity's deepest needs and fears, our aloneness, our desire for love and acceptance, our struggle to survive at all costs. Joyous, mystical, and exquisitely written, I Know This Much Is True is an extraordinary reading experience that will leave no reader untouched.
"When you're the sane brother of a schizophrenic identical twin, the tricky thing about saving yourself is the blood it leaves on your hands — the little inconvenience of the look-alike corpse at your feet. And if you're into both survival of the fittest and being your brother's keeper — if you've promised your dying mother — then say so long to sleep and hello to the middle of the night. Grab a book or a beer. Get used to Letterman's gap-toothed smile of the absurd, or the view of the bedroom ceiling, or the indifference of random selection. Take it from a godless insomniac. Take it from the uncrazy twin — the guy who beat the biochemical rap."
Born in the waning moments of 1949 and the opening minutes of 1950, the twins Dominick and Thomas Birdsey are physical mirror images who grow into separate yet connected entities: the seemingly strong and protective yet fearful Dominick and the seemingly weak and sweet yet noble Thomas.
From childhood, Dominick fights for both separation and wholeness — and ultimately self-protection — in a house of fear dominated by Ray, their adoptive father, a spit-and-polish ex-Navy man who abuses his power over his stepsons whose biological father is a mystery.