Lost Family is by award-winning journalist Libby Copeland and explores the rapidly evolving phenomenon of home DNA testing and its implications for family, heritage, and American culture. Lost Family’s publication coincides with the 20th anniversary of home DNA testing for ancestry purposes and the reaching of a tipping point with over 30 million Americans tested. Both have enormous implications for those who have been tested and those who have not
Swab your cheek, send it away to a lab somewhere, and you get a report that might tell you where your ancestors came from or if you carry certain genetic risks. But what happens when the test reveals a long-buried family secret or something that changes your entire sense of identity?
Award-winning journalist Libby Copeland will discuss her 2020 book, "The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are". In this book, Copeland investigates investigates the rapidly evolving phenomenon of home DNA testing, uncovering the story of Alice Collins Plebuch, whose supposed Irish ancestry is overturned by a DNA test that indicates Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. On the 20th anniversary of home DNA testing for ancestry purposes, and with over 30 million Americans tested, the author will explore how this technology illuminates how we think about family, heritage, and ourselves.
She explores the culture of genealogy buffs, the science of DNA, and the business of companies like Ancestry and 23andMe in this thoroughly modern genetic detective story. What are some of the ramifications (intended and unintended) when you have the desire to find answers to questions at the core of your being, like “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?” Welcome to the age of home genetic testing.