Family Secrets

Family Secrets

Family Secrets. We all have them. And while the discovery of family secrets can initially be terrifying or traumatic, often these discoveries have the power to liberate, heal, and even uplift us. Join Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of the memoir Inheritance, and her guests as they explore astonishing family secrets and uncover the extraordinary lessons the truth can teach us.

Episodes

July 22, 2021 5 min

In this new bonus series, “Dani’s Listening”, Dani connects with listeners by responding to those who’ve called in to share their family secrets.

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In this bonus episode, Dani sits down for a conversation with Kelly Corrigan for her podcast, Kelly Corrigan Wonders.

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June 14, 2021 1 min

An exciting update from Dani on upcoming Family Secrets bonus content.

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June 3, 2021 37 min

Graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel had a complicated relationship with her father, who hid his sexuality from just about everyone in their small Pennsylvania town. When she came out in college, it finally seemed like they’d get the opportunity to bond over the truth of their identities—until a tragic event cut that connection short.

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May 27, 2021 58 min

Nadia Owusu always worshipped her father, and his death when she was just 13 turned her world upside down. Fifteen years later, a bitter argument with her stepmother creates a brand new fault line in her life, leaving Nadia wondering if she ever really knew her father at all.

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May 20, 2021 39 min

As a kid, Liza Rodman spent her summers in Provincetown, trying her best to stay out of her volatile mother’s way. Her favorite escape: running errands with family friend Tony, who soon became her de facto babysitter. One summer, Tony stopped coming around—something Liza didn’t question, until decades later, when she learned that there was something sinister hiding beneath Tony’s gentle demeanor.

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May 13, 2021 53 min

Nicole Georges never knew her father. From the time she was little, she was told he died when she was just an infant—of colon cancer, her mom said. But after getting a strange palm reading in her early 20s, Nicole realizes there may be more to the story. Not knowing how to approach her mother about it, Nicole—like so many other Americans dealing with personal crises—calls up a familiar, and controversial, source of advice on family...

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May 6, 2021 63 min

At just 17 years old, Alisson Wood began a dangerous entanglement with a creative writing teacher at her school, who gifted her a copy of Nabokov’s Lolita. To hear “Mr. North” tell it, Lolita is the ultimate love story—a narrative the young Alisson bought into, until she grew older and learned to see the tale for what it really is: a grim account of predation and abuse.

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April 29, 2021 45 min

Growing up in post-war America, Alexander Wolff had a vague sense that his father, Nico, and his grandfather, Kurt, had two very different wartime experiences. But it wasn’t until he was an adult that he began to understand just how divergent his half-Jewish grandfather’s, and his quarter-Jewish father’s, paths had been.

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April 22, 2021 55 min

Emma Ramos grew up in a deeply religious, and deeply patriarchal, town in Mexico, where carving out an independent life for herself—outside her parents’ expectations—was a constant negotiation. Which is why she hid the most traumatic thing that ever happened to her from her loved ones for more than a decade—until she found herself living under her parents’ roof again, in the midst of the pandemic.

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April 15, 2021 46 min

As a law student, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich was vehemently opposed to the death penalty, even in the most heinous of crimes. Yet their deeply-held beliefs were put to the test after watching the confession tape of a man convicted of the brutal killing and sexual assault of a six-year-old boy—the details of which felt all too familiar to Alex, an abuse survivor.

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April 8, 2021 57 min

Ly Tran’s father refused to accept any kind of weakness in his children—not even something as commonplace, and easily remedied, as poor vision. So when then-eight-year-old Ly brought a note home from school informing her parents she needed glasses, he flew into a rage—setting Ly up for years of struggle and secret-keeping as her eyesight continued to worsen, which impacted every facet of her life.

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April 1, 2021 50 min

What’s it like to live your life so deep undercover, handling secrets that are so sensitive, not even the people who know you best—not your friends, not your siblings, not your parents—can know what you’re up to? Ex-CIA agent Amaryllis Fox spent the better part of her 20s trying to keep WMDs out of the hands of global terror groups—until she became a mother and realized she couldn’t ask her baby daughter to live inside a secret wor...

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March 25, 2021 2 min

Join us for more incredible stories about what happens when long-held family secrets come to light. The new season of Family Secrets launches Thursday, April 1. 

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Dani continues her discussion with Dr. Yehuda about intergenerational trauma, and her fascinating new research into psychedelics as a potential treatment for patients suffering from PTSD.

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In this special episode, Dani speaks with noted trauma expert Dr. Rachel Yehuda about the controversial history of PTSD as a diagnosis, the disorder’s surprising physiological effects, and why the children of PTSD sufferers often show the same biological markers, despite never having experienced trauma themselves.

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February 5, 2021 51 min

In this special bonus episode, recorded as part of the Two Writers Talking virtual series, Dani and journalist Robert Kolker—author of the instant New York Times bestseller Hidden Valley Road—discuss the delicate work of writing about family secrets, whether they're your own or someone else's.

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January 21, 2021 8 min

In this bonus episode we hear from listeners in the Family Secrets community. To share your secret, call 1-888-SECRET-0.

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December 10, 2020 2 min

Thank you for listening to season four of Family Secrets.

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December 3, 2020 46 min

David Ingber is a spiritual leader and father of three young kids, beloved by his large New York City Congregation. His wisdom and ability to comfort is sought after by thousands. In this episode, he learns that opening up and allowing himself to show his own vulnerability is part of his teaching and a great spiritual lesson.

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