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Moved to Write, After So Much Living

At 92, Nora Percival has lived a long and varied life. But she's still making her way -- at 88, she turned to writing full time. As she recently told her granddaughter, Emily Wynns, it was a pursuit she had long put off.

Percival first had the desire to write in the 1930s. But in the days of the Great Depression, it was a struggle merely to survive. And Percival's life wasn't easy in those days.

After her husband, Herman Gund, died of leukemia in 1939, Percival learned she was pregnant. And as she says, even at 24, "I was determined that I was going to have his child."

"When I got older, and things eased up, then I realized there was one more act of resurrection I needed to do, Percival says.

She wrote a book, fulfilling a long-held ambition -- and reliving her love affair with Gund. The hundreds of letters they had written each other served as the raw material.

This piece was produced for 'Morning Edition' by Piya Kochhar and Katie Simon.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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