Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Print Length: 400 pages
Nominated as One of the Best Books of 2022 by The New Yorker, NPR, Time, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe
In Ancestor Trouble, Maud Newton wrestles with the essential question of how much we can learn about who we are by understanding the ancestors who came before us. Her own family history was troubled. Raised by a white supremacist father and a mother who started a church in the family living room, Newton questions what family traits she might have inherited from her parents and her parents’ parents. After researching her paternal and maternal relatives, she discovers a slave-owning past on both sides, a history of mental illness and a tendency towards religious fundamentalism. While Newton recounts her forays into her family history, she explores what is known about genetic genealogy, DNA research and intergenerational trauma. Her book is a fascinating combination of memoir, genealogical research and questioning about what makes up our identity and how knowing about the past can inform our sense of self.
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