Books

09 May 2013

Recently, someone asked me what it was like to write someone else's story. It is, of course, not the same as writing fiction: there is an acute sense of the need to be accurate. There is also an ever-present sense of responsibility for the person, and the people, concerned; however, at all times, even though it is a story about another person, it must always remain the author's interpretation of that story.

During the years I knew Nina, she talked to me a lot about her past; later, I regretted that I had not written down all those things when she had talked about them. Once I decided to write the book, there was a lot to piece together, and I did so with the help of my husband and his two cousins. I was also helped by the hundreds of letters we found in Nina's attic. She had kept all the letters she had received as well as many, many drafts for letters that she sent. These drafts, together with a couple of diaries, were a goldmine.



Some things, though, were impossible to find out, and I was forced to take some creative liberty based on what was most likely, given what I already knew. In many ways, The Space in Between is like a painting of Nina and her family; I am sure that there could be other interpretations, but, had I not believed in my own interpretation, Nina's story would soon have been forgotten and there would have been no one left with sufficient information to resurrect it.