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The Lawson quins tell their incredible story

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On their 50th birthday, the Lawson quins tell their incredible story in a full-length biography.


They could have been any family of six children – except that five of them were born at once. It will come as a shock to many older New Zealanders to realise that Saturday July 25 is the Lawson quintuplets’ 50th birthday.

Now, following repeated requests to authorise a book over the years, they have worked with Auckland writer Paul Little to tell their incredible story.

The Lawson quins were a medical miracle and a national obsession when they were born in 1965. Samuel, Lisa, Deborah, Shirlene and Selina were the result of pioneering fertility treatment at Auckland’s National Women’s Hospital.

Their early childhood was idyllic, but when their parents’ marriage broke up, their mother married a man who abused and terrorised them for eight years before killing her and himself when the children were just 16.

After that, the nation’s darlings were thrown into nightmare years of abuse and heartache, gangs and drugs, beatings and betrayals, from which they have slowly fought their way back.

“The Lawsons wanted finally to tell their own story for themselves,” say Little. “And the milestone of their half century seemed the perfect opportunity.”

Little has worked with the likes of Willie Apiata, Ray Avery, Michael Hill and Temuera Morrison on previous books, but this was unique.

“I’ve been telling people it’s not so much a book as a hurricane,” says Little. “It is so full of incident and drama from the first page to the last, you read it hardly believing these people will survive what life throws at them. But ultimately, it’s a story about the strength of love and family to overcome any obstacle.”

Based on unprecedented access to the quins themselves, and featuring many never before seen family photos, Stolen Lives is available from bookstores and RRP $34.99 inc GST.


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