Mental Floss

Writing in prison, and writing to prisoners: the inmate who became the literary darling

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I suppose you can't really fault Norman Mailer for being seduced by Jack Henry Abbott. After all, he had already courted Gary Gilmore (complete aside--how wild was it when Mailer & his son appeared on Gilmore Girls?!), who had been acquainted with Abbott in prison. And then of course there's Mailer's whole romance/own problem with violence (i.e. the stabbing-his-wife-incident in 1960--she didn't press charges, but she did eventually publish a book about it).

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I'm wondering, though: how many of you have corresponded with prison inmates? My father is involved in prison ministry, I've taught at a prison, but I've never maintained a written dialogue with anyone serving time & I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has...

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