THE CONVICT AND THE STAINED GLASS WINDOWS by Carmelo Soraci

THE CONVICT AND THE STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

KIRKUS REVIEW

Carmelo Soraci grew up in the ""smutty wilderness"" of crime on the lower East Side to pass false checks and end up as a multiple-felony offender in prison, where he spent 21 years. In Dannemora, he turned from forgery to original, creative work as an artist and designed, helped to build, and install, stained glass windows for a new chapel there which have been valued at $250,000. Later he was sent to Sing Sing to design windows for that prison's chapel. It was ""in college"" at Dannemora that he discovered drawing as a real escape and salvation, taught a class of students, and was in some measure under the influence of the Padre there. After his release-on parole- he was again arrested for having married without permission from his parole officer, appeared before Judge Thompson, who contributes the foreword here, for resentence, and was freed. The circumstances of this case are perhaps more interesting than its fuller documentation, but it is a remarkable story of redirection and regeneration, or, as Judge Thompson says, creating ""something beautiful from a dismal experience"".

Pub Date: June 14th, 1961
Publisher: John Day