Schein, Elyse 1968–
Schein, Elyse 1968–
Born October 9, 1968. Education: Graduated from Stony Brook University, State University of New York; studied at FAMU: Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts, Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Writer and filmmaker. Worked variously as an English teacher, photographer, and translator.
(With Paula Bernstein) Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited, Random House (New York, NY), 2007.
Creator of short films, including I Steal Happiness and Private Dick. Contributor of film reviews to journals.
Elyse Schein is a writer and filmmaker. She graduated from Stony Brook University and studied film at FAMU: Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Schein wrote the screenplays for two short films, I Steal Happiness and Private Dick, which have appeared at the Telluride Film Festival and in cinemas in San Francisco and Prague.
Schein, who knew she had been adopted as a child, eventually decided to search for her birth mother. The Louise Wise Adoption Agency told her that she had an identical twin sister living in New York. After meeting with her sister for the first time, both in their mid-thirties, the two decided to investigate the circumstances of their separation, reportedly an intentional-but-abandoned experiment on the lives of separated twins. The pair decided to publish their story in 2007 as Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.
In an interview on BBC News, Schein remarked on her reunion with Bernstein that "what's funny is we've kind of come full circle. We were initially twins, which was a biological bond, and then now I say that we've adopted each other. Now we're family by choice." Sounding a familiar tone in an interview with CBS News, Schein claimed: "I am proud that I found my twin and that we wrote a book together, and we shared this journey together."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Schein, Elyse, and Paula Bernstein, Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited, Random House (New York, NY), 2007.
Brooklyn Paper (New York, NY), October 6, 2007, Gersh Kuntzman, "Checkin' in with Separated Twins Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein."
Detroit Free Press, November 7, 2007, "From Strangers to Sisters: Identical Twins Separated by an Adoption Agency Find Out about Each Other after 35 Years."
Glamour, November 1, 2007, Mikki Halpin, "‘I Met My Identical Twin—at 35!’," p. 207.
Houston Chronicle, December 9, 2007, Faye Flam, "Separated Twins Shed Light on Identity Issues; Though They Share Same DNA, the 2 Women Have Vast Differences," p. 15.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2007, review of Identical Strangers.
New York, October 22, 2007, Emily Nussbaum, "Sliding Doors: Identical Twins Tell a Shocking Story of Adoption Gone Awry—and How Two Strangers Became Sisters," p. 90.
People, October 22, 2007, Beth Perry, "Twins Reunited," p. 111.
Philadelphia Inquirer, November 28, 2007, "Twins: A Window into Identity Issues."
Publishers Weekly, April 18, 2005, John F. Baker, "Twins and Strangers," p. 14; August 27, 2007, review of Identical Strangers, p. 78.
School Library Journal, December 1, 2007, Lynn Rashid, review of Identical Strangers, p. 163.
Science News, November 3, 2007, review of Identical Strangers, p. 287.
Star Times (Wellington, New Zealand), December 9, 2007, Lisa Bradley, "When Paula Met Elyse."
Sydney Morning Herald, October 29, 2007, Alex Spillius, "How Science Separated Twins at Birth."
BBC News,http://news.bbc.co.uk/ (December 31, 2007), author interview.
CBS News,http://www.cbsnews.com/ (September 30, 2007), author interview.
Elyse Schein Home Page,http://www.elyseschein.com (May 6, 2008), author biography.
GoodReads,http://www.goodreads.com/ (May 6, 2008), author profile.
Identical Strangers MySpace Profile,http://www.myspace.com/identicalstrangersbook (May 6, 2008), author profile.
Identical Strangers Web site,http://www.identicalstrangersbook.com (May 6, 2008), author profile.