Their names are a way of remembering, too

One challenge in a large multi-generational story like What’s Left comes in managing first names. Many families customarily name babies in honor of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, even the parents, but even with nicknames, that’s bound to create additional confusion for readers.

I skirt the issue by introducing names independent of any mention of family connection, perhaps justified with the break from the old country at the outset of their arrival in America and perhaps as a reflection of adapting new customs as well.

Pressed on the point I might respond that Stavros’ three sisters, who remain unnamed in the text, repeated earlier names. And then I wondered about Nicky, a generation later.

Does your family have naming traditions? What’s the pattern? Which names are most popular?


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