Family Secrets

In April, an essay adapted from Sunday Dinner was featured in the PursuitMagSound of Pursuit: SpyCurious” podcast. You can link to the original story here or click to listen at the bottom of the page. (Walling’s audio begins at 6:58.)


This episode explores the things we hide from the people we love most, when the truth is too terrible to bear.

Everybody lies. We lie to protect people from painful truths and to preserve the family name. We lie about affairs, flirtations, and addictions. Sometimes, we even lie to ourselves.

In this episode, we’ll hear two stories about family secrets—and the blurry line between deception and delusion: An alcoholic conceals his addiction from everyone, including himself. And Ann Walling recalls her old-school Southern family, the rites and hierarchies they observed, and the painful histories they could never bring themselves to face.


Host: Hal Humphreys

Music provided by Jason White, Headmint, Lullatone, and Chris Zabriskie

Allen family, 1905


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