How NY Times Bestselling Memoirist Dani Shapiro Writes
Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Dani Shapiro, chatted with me about the Groundhog’s Day effect of the pandemic, the transition from fiction to memoir, and the hidden power of Family Secrets.
“There’s no check the boxes kind of ‘career development,’ or anything like that, that exists in the creative life. People think that there is, and that they’re not doing it right. And there’s no right.” — Dani Shapiro
Dani is the author of 10 books including the instant New York Times bestselling memoir, Inheritance, which was published in 2019. Her other books include the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History.
Inheritance won the 2019 National Jewish Book Award, was named one of Wired’s top Science books of 2019 and a best book of 2019 by Vanity Fair. It was also a book club pick for Now Read This, the PBS NewsHour’s book club with The New York Times.
“A meditation on what it means to live in a time when secrecy, anonymity, and mystery are vanishing.” — The New Yorker
Dani has taught at Columbia and New York University, is the co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy, and teaches writing workshops around the world.
In early 2019, Dani launched an original podcast, Family Secrets, in collaboration with iHeartMedia. An iTunes Top 10 podcast, the series features “…stories from guests who — like Dani — have uncovered life-altering and long-hidden secrets from their families’ past.”
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NOTE: Our apologies for any audio issues with our podcast guest interview. We hope it doesn’t distract from the important message of this episode. Thank you!
If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews. In this file Dani Shapiro and I discussed:
- How to change the rhythm of your day to spark creativity
- Her mentors and awakening to her writing voice
- Learning to write in public (and find an agent the right way)
- On throwing out hundreds of pages
- The power of storytelling in the aftermath of family trauma
- And much more!
- Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro [Amazon]
- Dani Shapiro Amazon author page
- Family Secrets on Apple Podcasts
- William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech C.1950
- The Essay on Self Reliance – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Dani Shapiro on Instagram
- Dani Shapiro on Facebook
- Dani Shapiro on Twitter
- Kelton Reid on Twitter