THE CROSS OF LASSITUDE by Jean Colebrook
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THE CROSS OF LASSITUDE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

These Portraits of Five Delinquents are superbly sensitive studies, unsparing in their recreation of realities in reform school...prison...on the street. And the author not only moves into the lives but into the strange psychology of those trapped emotionally as well as physically by an incredibly hostile environment. There's ""Frankie,"" Negro, intelligent, who writes poetry and is doomed to return to jail again and again...at one point impregnated by a white fag; ""Baby"" O'Reilly, just slightly retarded who is later to prostitute herself for a sadistic bull-dyke; ""Harry,"" silent until she screams, who will be shuttled from prison to aut-house and back again; ""Pug Nose,"" forever the little girl clinging to her panda, even later when whoring for ""Beppo,"" who will run a stable of girls, avoid jail but be enslaved by her need for women and dope. Just about every abysmal impact the senses can absorb is recorded here in the transcript of the pasts, present and futile futures of these delinquents. Miss Colebrook, writer, social worker, prison worker has done an admirable job of exploring harsh truths in a book that is comparable to Oscar Lewis' La Vida. Read it.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1967
Publisher: Knopf