Hettie Jones is the author of numerous books, including her memoir of the Beat scene
The two women’s stories share one point of view: both had “fled the norm for women then, because living it would have been a kind of death.” After two letters prior to 1965, LeRoi’s separation and name change and Hettie’s feelings are revealed, and Helene’s background and first marriage explained. The Dorns move to England. Hettie adjusts to solitary life. Helene worries about her from Colechester, where Ed teaches. Hettie gets and loses editing jobs, a relationship with saxophonist Marion Brown, writes a poem, is employed as writer for an antipoverty agency. Helene worries about England’s effect on her teenagers, has an operation, reveals that Ed is having affair. Newark riots the same night Hettie’s house catches fire. Helene leaves Ed for Spain, then returns to the United States, to Gloucester. Hettie is hospitalized, but after recovery begins, finally, to write and publishes her first children’s book. Helene has her first show. It’s 1971.