Dani Shapiro on family secrets and coming into your full potential at 60

My guest today is the bestselling writer Dani Shapiro. Dani is best known for the memoirs that made her name. Startlingly honest works of self-investigation like Slow Motion, in which she examines the questionable decisions her younger self made (let’s face it, whose younger self didn’t?). And the book that catapulted her to the top of the bestseller lists, Inheritance. 

In Inheritance, Dani explored the impact of taking a DNA test - just for fun! - in her mid 50s only to discover that her beloved dad was not actually her biological father. That book led to the top 10 podcast, Family Secrets featuring guests who have uncovered life altering secrets.

It was unlocking those family secrets that enabled Dani to write her first novel in 15 years, Signal Fires, a bestseller since the day it was published in the states last year and praised by, my fave Jamie Lee Curtis, amongst others. It looks at what happens when one tragic mistake changes a whole family’s lives.

Dani joined me from the East coast of America to discuss how it feels to discover that you are your family’s secret, her allergy to Empty Nest Syndrome and why there should be a handbook for middle age. We talked about coming into your full potential at 60, "losing your looks" when you’ve been told they’re your currency and learning to count ordinary blessings.

Listen to Family Secrets here.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at The Shift bookshop on Bookshop.org, including Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me.

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