Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Seven books about gripping family secrets

Thao Thai is a writer living in Ohio with her husband and daughter. Her work engages with tangled family relationships and the intersections of motherhood and identity. She’s been published in Cup of Jo, Eater, Catapult, Sunday Long Read, and more. A recipient of the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, she has also been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and earned fellowships in creative writing. She received her MFA from The Ohio State University and her MA from The University of Chicago.

Thai's debut novel is Banyan Moon.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books "that explore the dark spaces between families—all that’s unsaid." One title on the list:
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

In 2016, on a whim, reporter Shapiro sends in a sample of her DNA to a genealogy website. To her shock, she discovers that the man who raised her isn’t, in fact, her biological father. Deeply unsettled by this revelation, she grapples with questions about what her parents chose to hide from her, and why. With the help of her husband (also a reporter), Shapiro follows a series of winding threads that take her across the country, where she must navigate the impacts of science, technology, and record-keeping on her own life. In the end, she must determine what constitutes identity, and the extent to which we’ll go to open the closed doors of the past.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue