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They keep working, writing sporadically. Hettie’s first book wins the Notable Book Award. In 1974 she publishes a lauded book, in 1976 another, but money is tight. Helene becomes aide in nursing home, then works restoring Gloucester’s cemeteries. Hettie, protecting her children, uses third person for adult stories. In 1976 Hettie is writing a YA novel about an interracial teen when Helene has her eighth show at opening of art gallery while working at a social service agency. They meet in New York, January 1979. Helene secures commission from Norway bank, and Hettie gets contract for two YA novels, but the first, published in 1980, is criticized for depicting conflicts about race and shredded. A chapbook of Hettie’s poems is published in 1981; she’s forty-seven, copyediting romance novels for money. Helene at fifty-four runs high fever and loses hearing. Hettie too has crisis regarding her decision to publish a memoir, the only book she can get money for.

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