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Dani Shapiro: Author Talk and Book Signing

Dani Shapiro: Author Talk and Book Signing

Reston Regional Library is proud to partner with Bards Alley bookstore to host an evening conversation with Dani Shapiro.

Dani will discuss and sign copies of her latest memoir, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love. She will be in conversation with professional genealogist Shannon Combs-Bennett.  

This event is free to attend, but please RSVP on Bards Alley’s Facebook page. Seats will be available on a first come, first served basis. To reserve your copy of Inheritance for pickup, submit a special order request or call 571-459-2653.

This event is co-sponsored by Bards Alley and the Fairfax Genealogical Society. It was made possible by the support and generosity of the Friends of the Reston Regional Library.



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 a book 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 fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. 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 is the author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Also an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro’s short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is cofounder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

SHANNON COMBS-BENNETT is an award winning author and genealogical lecturer based out of Northern Virginia. With a background in genetics, Shannon enjoys teaching others about how DNA and genealogy can work together. Currently she is working toward her MSc in Genealogical, Heraldic, and Paleographic Studies from the University of Strathclyde and is also the Southeast Regional Director for the International Society for Family History Writers and Editors.

Photo of Dani Shapiro – Credit: Michael Maren

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Library Branch:
Reston Regional Library
Author Event
  Adults     Older Adults  
FCPL Event Guidelines

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Reston Regional Library Staff

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