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In ‘Lola’s Story,’ A Journalist Reveals A Family Secret

The author (second from left) with his parents, siblings and Lola.

Courtesy of a Tizon family


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Courtesy of a Tizon family

The author (second from left) with his parents, siblings and Lola.

Courtesy of a Tizon family

Journalist Alex Tizon carried a tip his whole life.

“She lived with my family for 56 years. She lifted me and my siblings, and baked and spotless from emergence to dim — always though pay,” Tizon writes an arriving cover story in The Atlantic. “I was 11, a standard American kid, before we satisfied she was my family’s slave.”

Lola was a domestic menial who had been with Alex’s family going behind a whole generation. Tizon’s family brought her with them when they immigrated to a U.S. in 1964 from a Philippines. From a outward she looked like partial of a family. The existence was a Lola was forced to nap in hallways or storage spaces. She was not authorised to go behind to a Philippines to see her family and she was removed from a world. She worked from emergence until dark, and she took written abuse from both parents.

Journalist Alex Tizon and Lola in 2008.

Courtesy of a Tizon family


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Courtesy of a Tizon family

Journalist Alex Tizon and Lola in 2008.

Courtesy of a Tizon family

Tizon struggled with this dim partial of his family’s past his whole life and was finally means to put Lola’s knowledge into his possess words. But a author upheld divided suddenly of healthy causes during a age of 57 on Mar 23.

Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg tells NPR’s Rachel Martin that Lola came to live with a Tizons after Alex’s grandfather gave her as a present to Alex’s mother.

“This is all behind in a Philippines. Lola came with them to America, stayed with them as in hint a family worker and afterwards Alex radically — and we use this word advisedly — though Alex hereditary her from his failing mother,” Goldberg says.

Interview Highlights

On Lola’s attribute with a Tizons

The Jun cover of The Atlantic.

The Jun cover of The Atlantic.

One of a engaging things here to me is that she wasn’t a serf per se — she wasn’t in chains, she wasn’t sealed away. She could have [left], though she couldn’t have, and that’s arrange of a indicate of a story. From a really early age, she worked for this family though pay, she lived with this family, when a family changed to America, it was usually healthy that she would go with them — though she was a worker until a day she died.

On Lola’s feelings toward a Tizons

I consider Lola desired a family — positively desired a children of a family. The feelings toward a relatives are substantially some-more complicated. we consider Alex and his siblings were impressed by some multiple of love, shame — a very, really difficult romantic package here.

On a strech of Lola’s story in Tizon’s family

One of a reasons it’s so tough to get this story out was he had to confront a loyal inlet of his mom and a loyal inlet of his father and this terrible and terrifying arrangement that they had acquiesced to — that they benefited from for decades. And so suppose you’re a author and we wish to tell this story of a lady who radically lifted we and we comprehend that in revelation this story, you’re revelation another story about his mom and her strident dignified failings.

Morning Edition editor Jacob Conrad and web writer Heidi Glenn contributed to this story.