How much of this book is true? How much is imagination? Can imagination reveal the truth?
The answer depends on the skill of the author, who must imagine the unrecorded workings of the minds of real people. Based on his knowledge of their characters and the historic events in which they participated, he creates parallel universes that are imaginary but possible.
Do these stories ring true? Judge for yourself after reading the verbatim report of the trial of Romanian leaders Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu on December 25, 1989. They were executed the same day.
Except for the parts dealing with the trial and execution of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, this text is my own creation and is concerned almost entirely with the period when I was Canadian ambassador to Romania, 1979-1983. Some stories are for the most part fiction, but filled out with fact. Other stories are essentially factual, filled out here and there with fictitious detail. I owe an apology to those people whose stories I have embroidered, and I regret any confusion this awkward system may cause the reader. To help disentangle fact and fiction, a few details of real people and events are included in Notes at the end of the book.
In Ceausescu, the initial "Ce" sounds like "ch" in English "chin," the first "s" like English "sh," and the final "u" like English "oo". The accent falls on the second syllable. Thus the name is pronounced "Chow-shes-koo".