Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

Author Dani Shapiro has spent her career writing about her fraught relationship with her Orthodox Jewish parents. Imagine her surprise at the age of 54 when she found out–through a home DNA testing kit–that the man she thought was her father bore no biological relationship to her. Shapiro writes about this uncanny experience and what it means to her in her most recent of several memoirs, Inheritance.

The plot thickens when she manages to track down her biological father with just a few internet clues. He had been a medical student who thought that his casual sperm donation at a shady clinic would remain forever anonymous. She tries to forge a connection to him and his family, even though he is understandably ambivalent about the prospect.

Despite the narrow focus of this memoir, it is nevertheless well-paced and resonant. Well worth reading. Find this item in our catalog here.

(Reviewed by Amy B.)