Why is this historical fiction? Great question. I wrestled with it for years. Individual stories in the book are factual, based on my 1961 diary and my mother’s memoirs as well as several writing assignments I did to pass grade 7 when we returned from Europe. In addition, some of the main characters spent a lot of time recreating incidents. Peter and Irene Moritz as well as Shirley Ostrander were especially helpful here. Finally, there was a treasure trove of audio tapes from the Beatnik parties as well as reflections from my mother and brother about the significance of the 1961-62 events. By the time I had the retellings from a good dozen people, it was agreed that the stories needed to be told as historic fiction so that we could link them up and identify a common thread of narration.
The result is that the characters really come alive from the page, telling their own stories in their own words.