Two newborns on California's Central Coast were sent home with the wrong mothers. One raised me; the other I never knew. The news was unexpected and life-changing, discovered when I was a divorced parent and fifty-year-old English teacher. The Wrong Family is surprising, tragic, funny, and wide ranging.
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About the Author
A thing may happen so huge that, just as an axe can split a log, a life can be split into two parts: before and after.
By age fifty, my life had had its points and formative life experiences. None inspired a book. At fifty, something happened that rose to a different level.
At the core of my memoir is something primal and universal. To the jaded and the cynic, it is also trite, cliché, and a worn-out literary device. I didn’t write this story because of or in spite of those people, or really any other group. I wrote it because it had to be written, and I had to be the one to write it. It happened to me.
I knew early on I would write this book. I made it a project to learn what I could about the phenomenon, beginning right after My Day of Discovery. I started with a google alert for "switched at birth." It picked up any news or internet activity on the subject. That worked fine, until a popular TV program with the same name started up.
Research led me to the three-thousand-year-old Hindu god, Lord Vishnu, and how he was switched at birth, and it led me to the two boys in Salman Rushdie's "Midnight Children," and to the main character in Mark Twain's "Puddin' Head Wilson." I learned about popular mini-series in Latin America, Korea, and Japan that hinge on infants getting mixed up at the hospital.
Life and art draw from the same well sometimes. In the real world, two boys - one Hindu, one Muslim--were discovered to be switched at birth; in the art world, a movie was recently released about fictional Palestinian and Israeli boys switched at birth.
"The Wrong Family" covers a lot of territory. I should let you get started.