LitHub Features Ellen Meeropol (THE LOST WOMEN OF AZALEA COURT) with Guest Essay on Writing Into the Gaps Left by Untold Family Stories

I grew up in a family reluctant to tell stories.

Like about Elizabeth, my grandmother who left Russia and immigrated to Brooklyn. Did she really participate in the 1905 Menshevik revolution as a young woman, as my mother claimed? Was she really exiled to Siberia and her husband (or brother or uncle) helped her escape to the US? I heard fragments of that story, but the scraps were inconsistent and few. Probably it didn’t happen, my father said. My grandmother, who lived with us for the last years of her life, refused to speak about Russia at all.