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

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

Nearly a decade after his triumphant Charlie Chan biography,
Yunte Huang returns with this long-awaited
portrait of Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–1874), twins
conjoined at the sternum by a band of cartilage and a fused
liver, who were “discovered” in Siam by a British merchant in
1824. Bringing an Asian American perspective to this almost
implausible story, Huang depicts the twins, arriving in Boston
in 1829, first as museum exhibits but later as financially savvy
showmen who gained their freedom and traveled the backroads
of rural America to bring “entertainment” to the Jacksonian
mobs. Their rise from subhuman, freak-show celebrities to rich
southern gentry; their marriage to two white sisters, resulting in
twenty-one children; and their owning of slaves, is here not just
another sensational biography but a Hawthorne-like excavation
of America’s historical penchant for finding feast in the abnormal,
for tyrannizing the “other”—a tradition that, as Huang
reveals, becomes inseparable from American history itself.

Title:Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History
ISBN:9780871404473
Format Type:

About Yunte Huang

a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of


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

  • Keith Chawgo

    Inseparable is a biography about the original Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. The story reminds me of the Elephant Man but Huang has lovingly researched his subject matter with an incredible thor...

  • MAP

    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.Objectively, this is at least 4 star books. However, in terms of my personal enjoyment of it, 3 stars.This is truly a "the life and times of Chang and Eng"...

  • Nalene

    I received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of a Goodreads giveaway. If I could give it a 4.5, I would (only because I am very stingy with 5s). This is a well-written and impressively researched...

  • Karyl

    As a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to wend my way through the Guinness Book of World Records, and I believe it was there that I first came across Chang and Eng as conjoined twins. As with m...

  • Christine

    I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways.I had never read an in-depth story about Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese Twins" and the impetus for the commonly used phrase. I...

  • Mom2nine

    Having already read a fictionalized story about the "Siamese Twins" I was interested in this biography. Huang's research is intense and in-depth, yet the book is readable and interesting. I appreciate...

  • Joy Adams

    I really enjoyed this book .non fiction is my favorite genre of books .Many years ago I remember reading a book on these twins . I read this while in the hospital with a broken leg .It helped to take ...

  • Kathleen

    This is the compelling story of conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, an amazing pair. The book is also a cultural study of America's fascination with and treatment of the other....

  • Janet Slipak

    Nearly a decade after his triumphant Charlie Chan biography, Yunte Huang returns with this long-awaited portrait of Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–1874), twins conjoined at the sternum by a band of cart...

  • Pamela

    The lives of Chang and Eng "Bunker" certainly made for fascinating, eye-opening reading on many levels: immigration and citizenship controversies; human trafficking/slavery travesties in ways I would ...