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Many of the details in LETTERS FROM RIFKA came directly from interviews with my great aunt. There really was a milkman in Belgium who helped little Aunt Lucy find her way home. There really was a sailor aboard the ship who polished the decks by skating across them with brushes attached to his shoes. My great uncle really did present a banana to Aunt Lucy on Ellis Island to see what she would do. But other details I made up to move the story forward. All good fiction is like that, don’t you think…a balance of imagination and experience?