In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA, Dani Shapiro received the astonishing news that her beloved deceased father was not her biological father. Over the course of a single day, her entire history – the life she had lived – crumbled beneath her. In just a few hours of Internet sleuthing, she was able to piece together the story of her conception and remarkably, find a YouTube video of her biological father – his face and mannerisms eerily similar to her own.
from the flap of “Inheritance”, by Dani Shapiro
Some time ago I did a DNA test by MyHeritage. No surprise, no unexpected exotic roots …
Doing my DNA test was “fun” but reading “Inheritance” I realized that for many people it can be painful. Dani Shapiro’s newest memoir reads like a thriller. How she discovered that her Jewish father was not her father. That she was conceived in an “experimental” lab in the ’60 where sperm was mixed as a treatment for men with “slow sperm”. And how she – within less than 24 hours – was able to retrieve her biological father.
Shapiro dedicated the book to her father, but which father ? Her biological one or the one that educated her ? Ultimately the book raises a lot of questions about identity. Who are you and what makes who you are ?
Her acupuncturist boiled it down to the three great spiritual, questions : Who am I ? Why am I here ? And how shall I live ?
Three beautiful questions which needs reflection …