How Apologies Can Help You Move Forward With Your Life
“To err is human; to forgive divine.” But what if the person who hurt you most refuses to apologize or express any regret?
That’s the question haunting Manhattan journalist Susan Shapiro when her trusted advisor of fifteen years repeatedly lies to her. Stunned by the betrayal, she can barely eat or sleep. She’s always seen herself as big-hearted and benevolent, someone who will forgive anyone anything - as long as they’re remorseful. Yet the addiction specialist who helped her quit smoking, drinking and drugs after decades of self-destruction won’t explain – or stop - his ongoing deceit, leaving her blindsided. Her crisis management strategy is becoming her crisis.
To protect her sanity and sobriety, Shapiro ends their relationship and vows they’ll never speak again. Yet ghosting him doesn’t end her distress. She has screaming arguments with him in her mind, relives their fallout in panicked nightmares and even lights a candle, chanting a secret Yiddish curse to exact revenge.
In her entrancing, heartfelt new memoir The Forgiveness Tour: How to Find the Perfect Apology, Shapiro wrestles with how to exonerate someone who can’t cough up a measly “my bad” or mumble “mea culpa.” Seeking wisdom, she explores the billion-dollar Forgiveness Industry touting the personal benefits of absolution, where the only choice on every channel is: radical forgiveness. She fears it’s all bullshit.
Desperate for enlightenment, she surveys her old rabbis, as well as religious leaders from every denomination. Unable to reconcile all the confusing abstractions, she embarks on a cross country journey where she interviews people who suffered unforgivable wrongs that were never atoned: victims of genocides, sexual assault, infidelity, cruelty and racism. A Holocaust survivor in D.C. admits he’s thrived from spite. A Michigan man meets with the drunk driver who killed his wife and children. A daughter in Seattle grapples with her mother - who stayed married to the father who raped her. Knowing their estrangement isn’t her fault, a Florida mom spends eight years apologizing to her son anyway -with surprising results. Does love mean forever having to say you’re sorry?
Critics praised Shapiro’s previous memoir Lighting Up: How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking and Everything Else I Loved in Life Except Sex as fiercely honest, fascinating, funny and “a mind-bendingly good read.” Now the bestselling author and popular writing professor returns with a darker, wiser follow up, addressing the universal enigma of blind forgiving.
Shapiro’s brilliant new gurus sooth her broken psyche and answer her burning mystery: How can you forgive someone without an apology? Does she? Should you?
About the Author
Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writing professor, freelances for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Salon, Tablet, The Forward, Elle, Marie Claire, Oprah, Wired and The New Yorker online. She's the national bestselling author/coauthor of 13 books her family hates, including Unhooked, Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Lighting Up, The Bosnia List and The Byline Bible. She and her scriptwriter husband, a New York University professor, live in Greenwich Village, where she teaches her popular "instant gratification takes too long” classes at The New School, NYU, Columbia University, and private online classes. Follow her on Twitter @susanshapironet and Instagram @Profsue123.
"Enlightening and universally relevant, the book shows us how to forgive even when it might be impossible to forget." –Kirkus
"Susan Shapiro mixes memoir, religion, psychology and journalism to tell amazing stories of forgiveness. The tales, ranging from uplifting to unsettling, are always riveting.” –A.J. Jacobs, bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and It’s All Relative
“As a popular chronicler of bad habits and poor life decisions, Shapiro has found her best topic yet: how to confront the pain in your life caused by someone you believe owes you an apology. The Forgiveness Tour’s wide-ranging tales of true heartache and gripping confrontation show readers how to find what they need to finally heal from what has been hurting them. Smart, witty and inspirational.” –Tom Reiss, Pulitzer Prize author of TheBlackCount
“A dazzling and deeply moving memoir about forgiveness, featuring dueling rabbis, Jewish guilt, and the wisdom of inspirational men and women from different religions and cultures.” –Judy Batalion, author of The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos
“Whether you’re wrestling with love gone bad, the rupture of a friendship, a conflict at work or betrayal on a global scale, you’ll find wisdom and solace in Susan Shapiro’s entertaining and insightful account of her own search for forgiveness.” –Julie Metz, bestselling author of Perfection:A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal and EvaandEve
“The Forgiveness Tour takes us on journeys to right unforgivable wrongs. Shapiro illuminates how we can heal from those who harmed us most. Powerful, intimate and profound.” –Gabrielle Selz, author of Unstill Life: A Daughter’s Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction
“Shapiro demonstrates an uncanny knack for articulating and resolving the unspoken regret of so many people. A fascinating and essential work you’ll be better for reading.” –Laurence Bergreen, author of Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius
“Fascinating and original!” –Susan Cheever, bestselling author of Home Before Dark & Drinking in America
"Shapiro holds my eye and ear with urgency, compelling dialogue, and fresh insights into human behavior. I found The Forgiveness Tour hard to put down.” –Grace Schulman, author of Strange Paradise and Without a Claim
“A timely and captivating memoir about grudges, fallibility, and the loneliest phrase in the English language: I’m sorry. “ —David Goodwillie, author of King’s County
"I read everything Susan Shapiro writes. The Forgiveness Tour is electric, sad, funny and beautiful." -Cat Marnell, bestselling author of How To Murder Your Life