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FC 82 Annie’s Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Steve Luxenberg, author of the book Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret.

Bio – Steve Luxenberg

Steve Luxenberg, an associate editor at The Washington Post and author of the award-winning Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret, has worked for more than 30 years as a newspaper editor and reporter.

Annie's Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg on Fieldstone Common
photo by Josh Luxenberg

Steve’s journalistic career began at The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for 11 years. He joined The Post in 1985 as deputy editor of the investigative/special projects staff, headed by assistant managing editor Bob Woodward. In 1991, Steve succeeded Woodward as head of the investigative staff. Post reporters working with Steve have won several major reporting awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes for explanatory journalism.

Annie’s Ghosts was named to The Washington Post’s Best Books of 2009 list and was honored as a Michigan Notable Book for 2010 by the Library of Michigan. It was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and on the Diane Rehm Show. Other media coverage included articles or reviews in Parade, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, the Buffalo News, the Jerusalem Post.

Steve is a graduate of Harvard College. He grew up in Detroit. He and his wife, Mary Jo Kirschman, a former school librarian, live in Baltimore.

Book Summary

Beth Luxenberg was an only child. Or so everyone thought. Six months after Beth’s death, her secret emerged. It had a name: Annie.

Newly selected as a Great Michigan Read 2013-14 and a Michigan Notable Book for 2010.

One of the Washington Post Book World’s “Best Books of 2009,” Memoir.


Publication InfoAnnie's Ghosts with Steve Luxenberg on Fieldstone Common

Title: Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret

Publisher: Hyperion Books (2009)

Trade Paperback; 432 pages; with list of recurring characters, end notes, index and some BxW photos.

Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Steve and I talk about the decision behind prying into a family member’s private life, which they’ve kept secret, after they’ve died. We talk about identity – our own identity and other people’s perception of that identity. We dig into the topic of secrets and whether they should be kept or released. And, of course, we dig into the big secret in his family, that his mother had a sister, despite claiming all her adult life that she was an only child. Steve did much more than a reasonably exhaustive search for the research behind this book. His investigative skills and tenacity are a real lesson and inspiration for any historical researcher.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Hyperion Books.

The winner is:

  • Roberta Hunt of Indiana

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Hyperion Books for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

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Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 82)?

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