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On Getting Ideas Thanksgiving: The True Story

I am frequently asked where I get ideas for my books. Here is the genesis of my forthcoming book Thanksgiving: The True Story. It began with a conversation during one of the classes I teach for teachers who are getting their masters degree at Queens College, the City University of New York. It was two days before Thanksgiving and my students were talking about the holiday. “We have turkey for Thanksgiving, but on the side and no one eats it,” said one student. “What do you eat for Thanksgiving?” I asked in total astonishment, having only ever eaten the traditional menu of turkey with all the fixings. She replied with a long list of Italian dishes–homemade lasagna, ravioli, meatballs, etc. That discussion sparked my curiosity about every aspect of Thanksgiving, from what people eat and do and believe to the origins of the holiday itself.

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