If you’re not reading Bruce Feiler’s monthly feature This Life in the New York Times, you’re missing out. (Click here for a list of those column’s on Bruce’s website.)
The new column is especially poignant and provocative: Secret Histories; In an Age of Lessening Privacy, Some Family Secrets Persist
The piece talks about several recent examples of journalists and others discovering family secrets that had been guarded literally for decades. The stories are touching, inspiring, sad — but they also collectively say something about the current mania for sharing every detail of our own and our friends’ lives.
From the column:
One truism about contemporary life is that there are no more secrets. In the age of selfies, sexting, Twitter and Facebook, people are constantly spilling every intimate detail of their lives. Video cameras trace our every move; our cellphones know where we are at all times; Google tracks our innermost thoughts; the N.S.A. listens in when we dream. Everything is knowable, if you just know where to look.
Emma Brockes with a photo of herself and her mother, whose story is recounted in “She Left Me the Gun.” Karsten Moran for The New York Times
But that idea is flawed. Secrets endure. Especially in families.
It’s well worth a read.
Bruce Feiler grew up in Savannah, by the way, and of course still has family here. He is the author of a growing list of impressive books.