Monday, August 20, 2018

So should everyone …

… George Pelecanos Knows Why Inmates Need Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Informed by the author’s own experience conducting reading and writing programs in prisons and jails, The Man takes readers into a D.C. jail, where 28-year-old Michael Hudson awaits trial for armed robbery. Anna Byrne, a young librarian, brings books into the jail and runs a regular book discussion group. She has earned the respect of the inmates, many of whom had never been exposed to books before. Under Byrne’s careful guidance, Hudson discovers an entire world that he didn’t realize was available to him. She gives him novels by John Steinbeck, Chris Offutt, and Elmore Leonard, which transport him to a world outside the confines of the jail’s walls, free of the shackles of race, economic background, and social status.
Among my more useful functions in my retirement, I still arrange for shipments of books from The Inquirer to the Philadelphia prison system.

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