Luigi kept some letters that I had sent my mother, and wanted to show them to me. That gesture, his warmth and generous spirit touched me immensely. I knew nothing of his whole life, and yet he knew a lot about mine.
That interchange was my motivation to write this story about a woman and her child, and the war that made and broke lots of families. No immigrant ever tells the full story; most of us are ashamed of many things, silent about our past.
While this story is not autobiographical, it has bits and pieces of real people's lives. We create some; but we rely also on the raw stuff of our own experiences in many situations.
Luigi is an artist, and his images told me lots of other stories I had missed out on. Sadly, he will probably never know how he has influenced my creativity.
I thought you'd want to know.