Fic­tion

Two Sis­ters of Coyoacan

  • From the Publisher
March 29, 2018

Two Sis­ters of Coyoa­can is based on a lit­tle-known aspect of Leon Trot­sky’s assas­si­na­tion. It begins in Brownsville which had the largest pop­u­la­tion of Jews in New York City in the 1930’s. The nar­ra­tive is told from the per­spec­tives of Lil­ly and Ger­tie Abramovitz, two Jew­ish sis­ters, who unknow­ing­ly facil­i­tat­ed the assas­si­na­tion of Trot­sky. The events in this nov­el are based on real events. How­ev­er, Lil­ly and Ger­tie are fic­tion­al­iza­tions based on Ruth and Sylvia Ageloff, daugh­ters of a Russ­ian immi­grant who became a suc­cess­ful real estate developer.

There are inter-gen­er­a­tional con­flicts between the Abramovitz’s about whether one can be a land­lord and a polit­i­cal activist at the same time. Like many Amer­i­can Jews at the time, Ger­tie and Lil­ly’s par­ents sup­port­ed the over­throw of the Czarist régime by the Bol­she­viks in 1917, but in the course of the 1930’s doc­tri­nal splits between Stal­in­ists and Trot­sky­ists become more pal­pa­ble destroy­ing friend­ships at City Col­lege and even mar­riages along the way.

Discussion Questions