weekend ancestry

My essay’s on newsstands until June 17 or so

Ancestry is a fundamental perplexity of life. We come from our parents, who came from their parents, who descended, as the Bible would put it, from their fathers and their fathers’ fathers, but we are separate beings. We begin with the sperm of one man and the egg of one woman, and then we enter the world and we become . . .

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Random House Will Publish My Ancestry Book

I’m ecstatic to announce that Andrea Walker of Random House has acquired my forthcoming book on the science and superstition of ancestry, a subject that has obsessed me for years because of my own family and also because of the way it obsesses the culture at large. While writing my new story for Harper’s, “America’s Ancestry Craze,” I realized that it was mounting — . . .

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America’s Ancestry Craze: My Harper’s cover story

My essay, “America’s Ancestry Craze,” illustrated with Chuck Close’s “Emma,” is the cover story of the June issue of Harper’s! It’s an outgrowth of a longtime obsession, as people who visited this site in the long-ago days when it was frequently updated might recall. Friends and readers connected with me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram have been posting photos of the cover, and every time I see . . .

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More Ancestry Ponderings at The Begats

I’m working on a book about the science and superstition of ancestry, and my new site, The Begats, ponders ancestry miscellany of all kinds: genealogical, historical, cultural, scientific, religious, superstitious, personal. If you’re into this kind of nerdery: submit stuff! If you’re not on Tumblr, you can also follow along on Twitter or Facebook. And if you’re curious about my own family history, I wrote . . .

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