Meet Anna Ciddor, Australian author of The Family with Two Front Doors, as she interviews her cousin about what it is like to have one's family inspire a piece of fiction. 

It was a strange experience writing and researching a book about my own grandmother, and I wondered what it was like for members of my family to read it. This month, when The Family with Two Front Doors was published in the US, I asked my cousin, Adina (who lives in New York), what she thought. 

AC: Adina, how did you feel, reading a book about your Nana Nomi’s childhood?
It was so amazing! It felt like I was there seeing her life as a child in Poland. We heard stories growing up but they were fragmented- just bits and pieces. You were able to give a whole picture and it feels like we are there watching it like a movie. It’s fun knowing those were my family too! 

AC: You are named after Nana’s sister, Adina. The book tells the story of Adina’s arranged marriage at the age of 15. You happen to have a daughter who is fifteen. What did you think when you were reading about the wedding?
I can’t imagine getting married at 15, or our daughter getting married at that age but I guess it was quite common then!  It was so interesting seeing how the wedding took place. Adina had to have a major haircut! Some people still get married like that today although they are usually older in the US. 

AC: Nana’s childhood was in Lublin, Poland, but in the 1950s she migrated with her husband and two children (my father and your mother) to Melbourne, Australia. Many of her descendants (including me) still live in Melbourne. How did you end up in New York?  
My mom met my dad in Australia and after I was born, we eventually moved to New York. My sister Liora was born here and we’ve stayed ever since. Luckily, we have been able to visit each other a lot over the years. At one point, mom and Liora actually went back and lived in Melbourne again for ten years. We miss everyone a great deal! There are three first cousins and they have seven children and three grandkids so far! There are lots of other cousins too!