Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History

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Product Details

Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
6.1 X 1.5 X 9.3 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author

Yunte Huang is a Guggenheim Fellow and a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Transpacific Imaginations and Charlie Chan, which won the 2011 Edgar Award and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography. Having come of age in China as a student in the time of Tiananmen, Huang now lives in Santa Barbara, California.


Chang and Eng waltzed, arm and arm, indivisible, across a brutally divided America. Huang's spellbinding account tells their story with a complexity, and sensitivity, with which it has never been told before.--Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman
In the follow-up to his Edgar Award-winning Charlie Chan biography, Huang uncovers ironies, paradoxes and examples of how Chang and Eng subverted what Leslie Fiedler called 'the tyranny of the normal.--Jane Ciabattari
Engrossing.... give[s] an unvarnished look at the degradation and disparagement the brothers had to endure.--Jennifer Szalai
After years of showcased servitude, the original 'Siamese twins' Chang and Eng Bunker settled down in small-town North Carolina and adopted the lives of 19th-century Southern gentry -- identifying with the white oppressor class, in other words, fathering at least 21 children between them, owning slaves and sending their sons to fight for the Confederacy. Huang is attuned to the ironies of their story in his incisive and riveting account.--New York Times, "Times Critics' Top Books of 2018"
Excellent.... Mr. Huang compellingly makes his case that racism was a factor in these two self-made gentlemen land owners still being considered, late in life, as nothing more than a Barnumesque "freak show".... It's not difficult to find in this, as Mr. Huang most definitely does, a comment on the times in which we live.--Melanie Benjamin
Inseparable, Yunte Huang's exuberant and vivid account of the 'original Siamese twins, ' examines 19th century American attitudes toward race and sex that resonate today -- a time when immigrants, people of color, those with disabilities and others are denied their stories and denied their humanity.... By sharing his own experiences, [Yuang] reveals the poignant commonalities of immigrants across time and place, strangers making sense of a strange land, determined to make a better life for themselves and their children.--Vanessa Hua
Inseparable tells an astonishing story, by turns ghastly, hilarious, unnerving, and moving. Huang is a dazzling writer, bold, energetic, and intellectually alert. His gripping account of the lives of the celebrated Siamese twins Cheng and Eng not only richly illuminates the past of P.T. Barnum and Mark Twain but also probes the racial and sexual politics of the present.--Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve