I was born in Moscow, and immigrated with my family from the Soviet Union, via Vienna and Ladispoli, to the US in 1987. Like many others during these years, we were fleeing state-sponsored anti-semitism and benefitted from the movement to save Soviet Jewry. Just as pressing a reason for our departure was my parents' dissident activities, their involvement with the The Chronicle of Current Events and the series of events triggered by their work in transcribing the Prison Diaries of Eduard Kuznetsov.

The photo on this page is of my grandparents' apartment on Pechatnikov pereulok, circa 2006.

We settled in Boston, MA, where I attended Boston University Academy, not long after its inception. I earned a BA from Brandeis University, where I first learned about generative linguistics and received training from Ray Jackendoff and Joan Maling. My graduate work was completed at UC Santa Cruz, where I was advised by Jim McCloskey, Jorge Hankamer, Sandy Chung, and Maria Polinsky (as an external committee member). Here is a partial academic genealogy.

My legal last name is Gribanov but my publication name is Gribanova, because linguists like gender inflection.

Some (more) family history: