An Instant New York Times Best Seller A Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, and National Indie Best Seller A Best Book of the Year According to Elle, Real Simple, and Kirkus Reviews "Memoir gold: a profound and exquisitely rendered exploration of identity and the true meaning of family." (People Magazine) "Beautifully written and deeply moving - it brought me to tears more than once." (Ruth Franklin, The New York Times Book Review) From the acclaimed, best-selling memoirist, novelist - "a writer of rare talent" (Cheryl Strayed) - and host of the hit podcast Family Secrets, comes a memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love. 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 an audiobook 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 50 years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is an audiobook 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.
©2019 Dani Shapiro (P)2019 Random House Audio
The best-selling novelist and memoirist delivers her most intimate and powerful work: a piercing, life-affirming memoir about marriage and memory, about the frailty and elasticity of our most essential bonds, and about the accretion, over time, of both sorrow and love. Hourglass is an inquiry into how marriage is transformed by time - abraded, strengthened, shaped in miraculous and sometimes terrifying ways by accident and experience. With courage and relentless honesty, Dani Shapiro opens the door to her house, her marriage, and her heart and invites us to witness her own marital reckoning - a reckoning in which she confronts both the life she dreamed of and the life she made and struggles to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become. What are the forces that shape our most elemental bonds? How do we make lifelong commitments in the face of identities that are continuously shifting and commit ourselves for all time when the self is so often in flux? What happens to love in the face of the unexpected, in the face of disappointment and compromise - how do we wrest beauty from imperfection, find grace in the ordinary, desire what we have rather than what we lack? Drawing on literature, poetry, philosophy, and theology, Shapiro writes gloriously of the joys and challenges of matrimonial life, in a luminous narrative that unfurls with urgent immediacy and sharp intelligence. Artful, intensely emotional work from one of our finest writers.
©2017 Dani Shapiro (P)2017 Random House Audio
In her midforties and settled into the responsibilities and routines of adulthood, Dani Shapiro found herself with more questions than answers. Was this all life was - a hodgepodge of errands, dinner dates, e-mails, meetings, to-do lists? What did it all mean? Having grown up in a deeply religious and traditional family, Shapiro had no personal sense of faith, despite repeated attempts to create a connection to something greater. Feeling as if she was plunging headlong into what Carl Jung termed "the afternoon of life," she wrestled with self-doubt and a searing disquietude that would awaken her in the middle of the night. Set adrift by loss - her father's early death; the life-threatening illness of her infant son; her troubled relationship with her mother - she had become edgy and uncertain. At the heart of this anxiety, she realized, was a challenge: What did she believe? Spurred on by the big questions her young son began to raise, Shapiro embarked upon a surprisingly joyful quest to find meaning in a constantly changing world. The result is Devotion: a literary excavation to the core of a life. In this spiritual detective story, Shapiro explores the varieties of experience she has pursued - from the rituals of her black hat Orthodox Jewish relatives to yoga shalas and meditation retreats. A reckoning of the choices she has made and the knowledge she has gained, Devotion is the story of a woman whose search for meaning ultimately leads her home. Her journey is at once poignant and funny, intensely personal - and completely universal.
©2010 Dani Shapiro (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
From one of the most gifted writers of her generation comes the harrowing and exquisitely written true story of how a family tragedy saved her life. Dani Shapiro was a young girl from a deeply religious home who became the girlfriend of a famous and flamboyant married attorney - her best friend's stepfather. The moment Lenny Klein entered her life, everything changed: She dropped out of college, began to drink heavily, and became estranged from her family and friends. But then the phone call came. There had been an accident on a snowy road near her family's home in New Jersey, and both her parents lay hospitalized in critical condition. This haunting memoir traces her journey back into the world she had left behind. At a time when she was barely able to take care of herself, she was faced with the terrifying task of taking care of two people who needed her desperately. Dani Shapiro charts a riveting emotional course as she retraces her isolated, overprotected Orthodox Jewish childhood in an anti-Semitic suburb and draws the connections between that childhood and her inevitable rebellion and self-destructiveness. She tells of a life nearly ruined by the gift of beauty and then saved by the worst thing imaginable. This is a beautiful and unforgettable memoir of a life utterly transformed by tragedy.
©2012 Dani Shapiro (P)2020 Random House Audio
"Still Writing offers up a cornucopia of wisdom, insights, and practical lessons gleaned from Dani Shapiro's long experience as a celebrated writer and teacher of writing. The beneficiaries are beginning writers, veteran writers, and everyone in between." (Jennifer Egan) From Dani Shapiro, best-selling author of Devotion and Slow Motion, comes a witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. At once a memoir, a meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, Still Writing is an intimate companion to living a creative life. Writers - and anyone with an artistic temperament - will find inspiration and comfort here. Offering lessons learned over 20 years of teaching and writing, Shapiro shares her own revealing insights to weave an indispensable almanac for modern writers.
©2013 Dani Shapiro (P)2020 Random House Audio