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Hettie and Helene meet in New York in 1960, connected at once—in front of a group of admiring men—by their obvious designing and sewing skills. Their context is described, as is the position of women at that time. They discover immediately that they both have children as well as artistic ambitions, opinions about women in bohemia—much to exchange, question, despite the difference in their ages. That night they decide to begin writing to each other. Hettie discusses in the narrative the purpose of using their letters as a way to continue not only her own journey after How I Became Hettie Jones, her memoir of the Beat scene, but that of two women artists ahead of their time—as she puts it, “two takes on a possible woman’s life”—in a culture only beginning to recognize the working woman’s place in it.

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