‘All my life I had known there was a secret. What I hadn’t known: the secret was me.’
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. Everything she had believed about her identity was a lie.
Shapiro’s parents were no longer alive. With only a handful of figures on a webpage, Shapiro set out to discover the truth about herself and her history.
Inheritance is a genetic detective story; a memoir that reads like a thriller. It 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 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.
‘A compulsively-readable investigation into selfhood that burrows to the heart of what it means to accept, to love and to belong.’ – Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See
‘A gripping genetic detective story, and a meditation on the meaning of parenthood and family.’ – Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach
‘A writer of rare talent.’ – Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
‘Beautiful … A fantastic writer.’ – Dolly Alderton, The High Low podcast
‘Reads like a beautiful, lived novel, moving and personal and true.’ – Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion
‘Searing... How do we live with ourselves after finding we are not who we thought we were? The answer is not disquieting. It is beautiful.’ – André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name