My fifth novel, The Lost Women of Azalea Court, will be published in September 2022 by Red Hen Press. I'm so delighted with the cover art. Click on the image to the right for a sneak preview of the book trailer.
This novel begins on a chilly November morning, when eighty-eight-year-old Iris Blum goes missing from Azalea Court, a six-bungalow development on the grounds of a long-closed state mental hospital. Her husband, Asher Blum, was the last head psychiatrist at the hospital, and he is writing a book about the treatment of mental illness. Their daughter Lexi, the neighbors, and police detective McPhee suspect Dr. Blum of being involved in Iris's disappearance. When the searches and interviews come up empty, the neighbor women dig into the past--Asher's childhood experiences with anti-Nazi partisans in the forests of Poland, unethical practices at the mental hospital, and Iris's mysterious best friend, Harriet. Lexi, the neighbor women, a homeless woman who befriends Iris, and Detective McPhee uncover the ghosts, secrets, and lies of the past; together, they narrate this story.
To me, this is a story about sisterhood and about how we treat mental illness and about taking care of each other despite our differences. It's also about the sins of the past and trying to move beyond them. Or not.
You can preorder The Lost Women of Azalea Court HERE.
Ellen Meeropol is the author of the novels The Lost Women of Azalea Court (forthcoming fall 2022), Her Sister's Tattoo, Kinship of Clover, On Hurricane Island, and House Arrest. Her work has been honored by the Sarton Women's Prize, The Women's National Book Association, and the Massachusetts Center for the Book.
A literary late bloomer, Ellen Meeropol began seriously writing fiction in her fifties, but her first publications came much earlier. At age twelve, her essay, "I am a Square Dance Orphan," was published in a national square dance magazine and she wrote a monthly feature column for her high school newspaper in the Washington, D.C. area. Ellen studied art at Earlham College and the University of Michigan.
After working as a day care teacher and a women's reproductive health counselor, Ellen became a registered nurse and then a nurse practitioner, working at a children's hospital in western Massachusetts for 24 years. During that time, she authored and co-authored two dozen articles and book chapters about pediatric issues and latex allergy. She was honored for excellence in nursing journalism by the nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau and received the Ruth A. Smith Writing Award for excellence in writing in the profession of nursing. In 2005 Ellen was given the Chair's Excellence Award from the Spina Bifida Association of America for her advocacy around latex allergy and spina bifida.
In 2000, after decades of reading voraciously and thinking that "someday" she would write, Ellen started writing fiction and studying craft, earning an MFA from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. In 2005, determined to spend more time with the characters demanding her full attention, she left her nurse practitioner career.
Ellen is a frequent presenter at conferences and book festivals, including the AWP annual conference, The Muse and the Marketplace, Wordstock, Virginia, Salem, and Maine Festivals of the Book, the San Miguel International Writing Conference, and the WriteAngles Writers Conference. She has taught fiction workshops at Writers in Progress in Florence, MA, Grub Street in Boston, and World Fellowship Center in New Hampshire. She is a Founding Member of the Straw Dog Writers Guild, coordinating its Emerging Writer Fellowship program.
She is married to Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. They have two grown daughters, two grandchildren, and one cat, and live in western Massachusetts. Ellen is a founding board member of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, which was started by Robert in 1990 in honor of his parents' refusal to "name names." Ellen's dramatic script telling the story of the foundation has been produced five times, most recently in Manhattan in June 2013, featuring Eve Ensler, Angela Davis, and Cotter Smith.