The article examines translator's notes to fiction at large and epistolary works, in particular, as exemplified by Twenty Letters to a Friend by Josef Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva. Written in Russian in 1963, the epistolary memoirs were translated into English and published in New York by Harper Row Publishers in 1967, thereby becoming accessible internationally for an 'alien' Anglophone culture. Rendering into English appeared to have washed out some emotive and attitudinal subtleties - meaningful but barely perceptible within 'alien' social, cultural and linguistic setting; specifically those which bore associations with Svetlana Alliluyeva's childhood and her family pet name Setanka. Such associative imagery would not routinely transmit between languages. Doing so necessitates translator's notes or comments treated throughout the paper as a special technique - translation escorting device.