June & Jenn
June & Jenn
June and Jennifer Gibbons
were identical twins who grew up in Wales. They became known as "The Silent Twins" since they only communicated with each other. They began writing works of fiction but turned to crime when they started experiencing criminality tendencies. Both women were admitted to Broadmoor Hospital where they were held for 11 years.
Shortly after their birth in Barbados, their family moved to Haverfordwest, Wales. The twin sisters were inseparable and their particular high-speed Bajan Creole made it difficult for people to understand them.
As the only black children in the community, they were ostracised at school. This proved traumatic for the twins, eventually causing their school administrators to dismiss them early each day so that they might avoid bullying. Their language became even more idiosyncratic at this time. Soon it was unintelligible to others.
Their language, or idioglossia, qualified as an example of cryptophasia, exemplified by the twins' simultaneous actions, which often mirrored each other. Eventually the twins spoke to no one except each other and their younger sister Rose.
When the twins turned 14, a succession of therapists tried unsuccessfully to get them to communicate with others. They were sent to separate boarding schools in an attempt to break their isolation, but the pair became catatonic and entirely withdrawn when parted.
When they were reunited, the two spent several years isolating themselves in their bedroom, engaged in elaborate plays with dolls. They created many plays and stories in a sort of soap opera style, reading some of them aloud on tape as gifts for their sister. Inspired by a pair of gift diaries at Christmas 1979, they began their writing careers.
each wrote several novels. Set primarily in the United States and particularly in Malibu, California, the stories involve young men and women who exhibit strange and often criminal behaviour.
In June's Pepsi-Cola Addict, the high-school hero was seduced by a teacher, then sent away to a reformatory where a homosexual guard makes a play for him. In Jennifer's The Pugilist, a physician is so eager to save his child's life that he kills the family dog to obtain its heart for a transplant. The dog's spirit lives on in the child and ultimately has its revenge against the father.
The girls committed a number of crimes including arson, which led to their being admitted to Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security mental health hospital.
According to Wallace, the girls had a longstanding agreement that if one died, the other must begin to speak and live a normal life. During their stay in the hospital, they began to believe that it was necessary for one of them to die, and after much discussion, Jennifer agreed to be the sacrifice.
In March 1993, the twins were transferred from Broadmoor to the more open Caswell Clinic in Bridgend, Wales; on arrival Jennifer could not be roused. She was taken to the hospital where she died soon after of acute myocarditis, a sudden inflammation of the heart. There was no evidence of drugs or poison in her system, and her death remains a mystery.
On a visit a few days later, Wallace recounted that June "was in a strange mood". She said, "I'm free at last, liberated, and at last Jennifer has given up her life for me".
(S): 8.5x11 in
(M) 24x36 in
(L) 30x40 in
(XL) 60x40 in
Printed on High Quality Archival Metallic Paper
Hand signed and numbered.
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