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Writers Bloc Presents Dani Shapiro and Liz Phair
Dani Shapiro in Conversation with Liz Phair
DNA tests routinely caution the user that results might be disturbing, or unsettling, or unnerving. DNA tests can solve-- or lead to-- mysteries about one's family, heritage, and core identity. Bestselling author Dani Shapiro spits into a DNA test tube on a whim. Her father turns out not to be her birth father: a personal earthquake, which jolts Dani into writing and solving her own detective story about who she is, as opposed to who she thought she was. In this greatly acclaimed book, Dani asks fundamental questions that tug at us, regardless of DNA tests: What makes us up as individuals? What determines who we are, who our parents are, and what is the definition of family? When we find out such troubling and rattling truths, why are relationships altered, and should they be? In her inimitable grace, Dani Shapiro speaks to her readers as if we are sitting there with her, discussing the enormity of the ethical questions in DNA testing, and even in searching for our paternity, our roots.
In conversation with singer/songwriter Liz Phair, whose debut album, Exile in Guyville, was ranked by Rolling Stone as among the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. She's earned Grammy nominations, and will tour with Alanis Morissette in the coming months.
Friday, January 31, 2020 - 7:30pm
The Fine Arts Theater
8556 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
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Published: Anchor - January 28th, 2020
From the acclaimed, best-selling memoirist, novelist 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.
In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had casually submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning 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.
Inheritance is a book about secrets. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that had been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years. 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.
Dani Shapiro's memoir unfolds at a breakneck pace--part mystery, part real-time investigation, part rumination on the ineffable combination of memory, history, biology, and experience that makes us who we are. Inheritance is a devastating and haunting interrogation of the meaning of kinship and identity, written with stunning intensity and precision.
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Published: Random House - October 8th, 2019
The two-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter behind the groundbreaking album Exile in Guyville traces her life and career in a genre-bending memoir in stories about the pivotal moments that haunt her.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR
When Liz Phair shook things up with her musical debut, Exile in Guyville--making her as much a cultural figure as a feminist pioneer and rock star--her raw candor, uncompromising authenticity, and deft storytelling inspired a legion of critics, songwriters, musicians, and fans alike. Now, like a Gen X Patti Smith, Liz Phair reflects on the path she has taken in these piercing essays that reveal the indelible memories that have stayed with her.
For Phair, horror is in the eye of the beholder--in the often unrecognized universal experiences of daily pain, guilt, and fear that make up our humanity. Illuminating despair with hope and consolation, tempering it all with her signature wit, Horror Stories is immersive, taking readers inside the most intimate junctures of Phair's life, from facing her own bad behavior and the repercussions of betraying her fundamental values, to watching her beloved grandmother inevitably fade, to undergoing the beauty of childbirth while being hit up for an autograph by the anesthesiologist.
Horror Stories is a literary accomplishment that reads like the confessions of a friend. It gathers up all of our isolated shames and draws them out into the light, uniting us in our shared imperfection, our uncertainty and our cowardice, smashing the stigma of not being in control. But most importantly, the uncompromising precision and candor of Horror Stories transforms these deeply personal experiences into tales about each and every one of us.