The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are

Libby Copeland


A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives

You swab your cheek or spit in a vial, then send it away to a lab somewhere. Weeks later you get a report that might tell you where your ancestors came from or if you carry certain genetic risks. Or the report could reveal long-buried family secrets and upend your entire sense of identity. Soon a lark becomes an obsession, a relentless drive 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.

In The Lost Family, journalist Libby Copeland investigates what happens when we embark on a vast social experiment with little understanding of the ramifications. She explores the culture of genealogy buffs, the science of DNA, and the business of companies like Ancestry and 23andMe, all while tracing the story of one woman, her unusual results, and a relentless methodical drive for answers that becomes a thoroughly modern genetic detective story. Gripping and masterfully told, The Lost Family is a spectacular book on a big, timely subject.

Creator Bio

Libby Copeland is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Washington Post, New York magazine, the New York Times, The Atlantic, and many other publications. A 2010 media fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Copeland was a reporter and editor at the Post for 11 years.

Price £19.99
Format Hardback
Publication Date 3 March 2020
Pages 304
Height 229mm
Width 152mm
Rights Europe, Africa, Middle East
ISBN-13 9781419743009