Daunt Books wins auction for Dani Shapiro memoir

Rights - NonFiction Tuesday, 12 February 2019

US bestseller follows author's investigations after discovering she was not her father's daughter

Zeljka Marosevic, publisher at Daunt Books, has won an auction to sign Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro. Knopf published the book in the US in last month, when it hit the New York Times bestseller list. Daunt Books has UK and Commonwealth rights through Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein, and will publish in paperback in June.

Out of curiosity, Shapiro submitted her DNA for analysis to a genealogy website, and got back the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. Her parents had died when she was in her 20s. With few resources on which to draw, Shapiro set out to discover the truth about herself and her history.

Marosevic said: "Like a cross between Carl Zimmer's She Has Her Mother's Laugh and Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Inheritance is a genetic detective story: a memoir that reads like a thriller... across 300-pages Shapiro takes us on a thrilling and moving journey as she investigates the secret that has been hiding in plain sight all her life. I haven't read another book like it, it's a truly compelling page-turner that combines science with an extraordinary personal story."

Shapiro said: "I'm very excited to be published in the UK by Daunt Books, and to reach British readers with Inheritance, my most personal and meaningful book to date."

Shapiro is the author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, as well as five novels.

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