What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.
Inheritance is a Jewish Book Council Selects title. Here's why they recommend this book:
Interview with Dani Shapiro and T Kira Madden from the Jewish Book Council Journal.
"How do you make sense of your identity after a DNA test reveals that the man who raised you is not your biological father? Inheritance is a memoir that reads like a psychological suspense novel with a narrator who faces challenges and moral dilemmas that are all the more gripping because they are not fictional. This meaningful exploration of genetics, paternity, and the world of infertility may be Dani Shapiro's finest work yet."--Jewish Book Council's National Jewish Book Award Judges