These are some of my people, and some of their people.

1_Page_37Strangers whose blood runs through me. 1_Page_14

Who resemble my uncle, my grandmother.

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How fabulous they seem, trapped in their smiles and eras, silent and fixed there, unmoved.


But they do move. They date, age, expire.

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I cannot explain what unease it is to tell a personal history – what it forces and corrupts, what it distills, propels, means – because its tribulations are difficult to express. But my youthful insistence to keep myself out, a matter of inexperience, proved to make this particular story more, not less, trite than I intended. So came the day that I listened to the patient editors and began to write the story of my maternal family. I read recently, “Any personal or family history, large or small in scope, can throw light on the human condition.” This is my toss, let’s see how far it goes.