Thursday, April 21, 2011

Running the Books, Avi Steinberg

"I thought about how isolated Jessica seemed that night when I saw her standing in line, as the prison commotion swelled around her, the laughing inmates, the shouting guards. Oblivious to her surroundings. She had just told me the story of abandoning her son. Her guilt and shame, her deep regret had sapped her senses. Just by looking at her that night, waiting for the officers to finish their count, waiting to march back to her prison cell, it was clear: Jessica was done. She hadn't been tuning out the noise around her. She wasn't ignoring the others. No, it was that she herself barely existed. Her presence then was papery and insubstantial. No wonder she'd ripped up the portrait. Ghosts cannot give gifts."

Running the Books, The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian, by Avi Steinberg

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