Terri Paul

  • There are twelve chapters in FOREIGN GIRLS, one for every month of Sarah’s twenty-first year.

  • The letters throughout the book explore parts of Sarah’s character not usually on display in her day-to-day life. She interacts with faraway friends and remote family members.

  • The real Sarah, my aunt, was not interested in school. But she was agile with numbers, something that gives her fictional counterpart a decided advantage over her peers and coworkers.

  • Aunt Sarah was also a card shark. She earned lunch money playing bridge during her short stay at the university. I remember a game of gin rummy from years ago. I finally folded after a very long and agonizing fifteen minutes. She was holding the card I needed and wasn't about to surrender it. She was ninety at the time.

  • I don’t know much about her life in the thirties and forties, except that she was a successful buyer at Lazarus Department Store in downtown Columbus. I made up the rest.

My mother as as a teenager. She is the model for Sarah's Americanized younger sister Kati and the only one who doesn't speak with an accent.