Bluebird has acquired a "poignant" memoir and "beautiful testimony to brotherhood" from photographer David Loftus about coming to terms with losing his twin.
In the form of a handwritten diary, the book charts Loftus' journey to find peace after years of guilt and injustice following the tragedy of his twin John's death 30 years ago. On the pair's 24th birthday, John, having recovered from a brain tumour, had contracted meningitis and found himself back in hospital for treatment. The two brothers were opening their birthday presents when an injection – fatally miscalculated by a doctor – forced John into a coma. Within two weeks, he had died.
Loftus has since worked with the Lone Twin Network to highlight the special kind of grief involved for identical twins, and, since January this year, has been taking time every day to remember John and record their story. This has included travelling to important places of shared memory, looking through photographs and drawings, and talking with other people who loved and still miss John. Loftus' diary has captured the journey in "enchanting and beautifully evoked childhood vignettes" as well as in writings on the loneliness that followed his brother's passing.
Publisher Carole Tonkinson said Loftus had loaned her his diary, the day after which she promptly offered on it, subsequently acquiring world rights direct from the author to publish in May 2019. The book features photographs and imagery from David and John Loftus alongside diary entries to create "a rich and layered reading experience".
She commented: "David let me borrow his precious handwritten diary, charting his attempt to come to terms with the unimaginable loss of his identical twin brother, John. I offered on the book the next day and have not stopped thinking about it since. It’s a love story and a beautiful testimony to brotherhood and loss that will resonate widely. I’m so grateful David has entrusted his profound and moving story to us."
Loftus' photographs have appeared in the books of Jamie Oliver, Rachel Khoo, Gennaro Contaldo, Elizabeth David and April Bloomfield. In 2012, he also published his first book under his own name, a cookbook entitled Around the World in 80 Dishes (Atlantic).