Shortly before his father's death, Lennard Davis received a cryptic call from his uncle Abie, who said he had a secret he wanted to tell him one day. When finally revealed, the secret--that Abie himself was Davis's father, via donor insemination--seemed too preposterous to be true. Born before the wide use of such technologies, Davis was filled with doubt about the truth of what this ne'er-do-well uncle was claiming. Moreover, Abie was mentally unstable, an unreliable witness to the past. For over twenty years, Davis tried to erase the whole episode from his mind.
Then he decided to approach Ira Glass of This American Life so that he and the show could dig deeper into this mystery. Davis's obsession to find the truth led him to DNA labs and online genealogical research sites.
A suspenseful and absorbing personal journey, this is also a fascinating intellectual foray into the history of artificial insemination and a moving investigation of all our attempts to understand ourselves. The book is an expansion of the This American Life show also titled "Go Ask Your Father."
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About the Author
Lennard J Davis is distinguished professor of arts and sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A memoirist, novelist, scholar, journalist and commentator, Davis' works have appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Nation as well as on National Public Radio.