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On the other side of shame
An extraordinary account of adoption and reunion​
​June 1961: Lynette Zinn, seventeen, Jewish and unmarried, trembles as her father rages about the pregnancy​ which she has managed to​ conceal ​for

seven monthsThe child, he declares, is a scandal and will have to be born in secret, put up for adoption and never mentioned again. Lynette’s protests go unheard. 


March 2001: Antony Egnal, a successful physician living in Seattle, adopts a child. The experience triggers his curiosity about his own adoption and Antony wonders if, after 40 years, he can discover anything about his own biological parents.

June 2001: Lynette Langman’s world is shaken by a phone call. After half a lifetime, Antony finds his birth-mother and discovers a truth more awesome than he could have imagined.

On the Other Side of Shame is a non-fiction account of the history and aftermath of these dramatic events, mapping Lynette’s journey against that of her long-lost son. Antony’s approach and emotional responses to his birth-mother are exceptional, as are the stories that have unfolded since their reunion. Shielded identities and the barriers of a conservative era ensured that mother and son never consciously crossed paths, yet a string of uncanny coincidences mark their time apart.

This is a story about the power of shame and the strength of forgiveness, a story which crosses borders and generations. It examines the intricacies of the Langman/Egnal adoption and reunion saga through the eyes of the people most deeply affected, centred around the unusual circumstances which make this an extraordinary story.

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