Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Quote of the Day (Jerome Charyn, on a Book-Loving Lady Robber)

“[Prudence Miller] wasn't willful about one thing: she never used a partner, male or female. Women were more reliable than men; they wouldn't steal your money and expect you to perform sexual feats with their friends. But women thieves could be just as annoying. She'd had her fill of them at the farm, where they read her diary and borrowed her books. Pru didn't appreciate big fat fingers touching her personal library. Readers were like pilgrims who had to go on their own pilgrimage. Pru was a pilgrim, or at least that's what she imagined. She read from morning to night whenever she wasn't out foraging for hard cash. One of her foster mothers had been a relentless reader, and Prudence had gone right through her shelves, book after book: biographies, Bibles, novels, a book on building terrariums, a history of photography, a history of dance, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, which she liked the best, because she could read the little encapsulated portraits of films without having to bother about the films themselves. But she lost her library when she broke out of jail, and it bothered her to live without books.”—American novelist-film critic Jerome Charyn, “White Trash,” in Bronx Noir, edited by S. J. Rozan (2007)

The image accompanying this post, of Jerome Charyn at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival, was taken September 6, 2015, by fourandsixty.

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