An old family secret, a new novel from Elizabeth Gaffney

February 25, 2015 3:34 PM

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Brooklyn novelist Elizabeth Gaffney didn't learn just how her great-grandmother had died until she "first heard the story of what people in my family jocularly call 'the baking accident.'"

Family legend long had attributed her death to a heart attack. In fact, as Gaffney learned in her 30s, Bessie Powell Dunlop committed suicide by placing her head inside an unlit gas oven.

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