My Father, The Spy

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

"Imagine if Maxwell Smart or James Bond had a family in tow."

Sheila Anderson was just 14 years old when she started helping her CIA operative father on his assignments spying on Russian targets during the height of the Cold War. Today, in her first-ever interview about the memoir she's writing about her extraordinary relationship with her father, Do You Have a Raincoat?, you'll hear her tell Erin what it's like to figure out at age 10 that das has a secret life. When most of us were in boring old high school, Sheila's coming of age was filled with international travel, multiple aliases, dangerous missions, and a world-class education in the art of manipulation.

Sheila Anderson and her dad.

Sheila speaks astutely about the psychological fallout of trying to unlearn those skills as she parents her three sons, but there's lots of humor too, and you'll want to hear about her dad's second act in retirement and how he influenced his daughter's own career as an interpreter for some of the world's most powerful leaders. She also lets us in on how accurate shows like Homeland and The Americans really are...

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, or wherever you get your shows.


Coming Up!

Ahead of HBO's upcoming Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, stay tuned in October for Erin and Elizabeth's two-part deep-dive into the mind of Tony Soprano, father, son, and man, with New York magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz and Rolling Stone TV critic Alan Sepinwall, co-authors of The Sopranos Sessions. Consider it a platter of Jungian gabagool from us to you.


New Patreon Show Alert!

If you like Tell Me About Your Father, and want to help us make more episodes, consider supporting us by donating three dollars a month to the Tell Me About Your Father Patreon. As our thanks, we’re gifting subscribers with a whole extra bonus edition of a new show we're calling The Monthly Daily Dad, in which, every month, we recap all of the best stories about dads of all walks of life from the deranged minds behind the Daily Mail. Fathers discussed through the lens of some of the most tantalizingly incomprehensible headlines ever printed, just for you and your slippers you treat as live pets.

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