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Penitentiary Tales: A Love Story
A novel by EA Leutkemeyer
Illustrations by the Author
6 x 9 inches, 362 pages
Print ISBN: 978-0-578-58122-4
Digital ISBN: 978-0-578-61097-9
Published by Laughing Buddha Books
Book Designed and Produced
by Lucky Valley Press, Jacksonville OR
Distributed Worldwide by Ingram
A novel by EA Luetkemeyer
Penitentiary Tales: A Love Story recounts the escapades of Dean Davis, a thirty-something, educated, straight white male from the affluent community of Sausalito, in Marin County, California, who is sent to an Illinois prison dominated by a daunting, ethnically diverse population of inmates from the mean streets of Chicago.
How does he do his time? What challenges does he meet?
Addressing issues of race and gender in America, it is at once a serious inquiry into the minds and hearts of the marginalized and the oppressed and a bit of a romp.
Like Steinbeck's Cannery Row, which celebrates the lives of the disenfranchised during the Great Depression without railing explicitly gainst social injustice, Luetkemeyer's audacious new novel sheds light on the daily lives of its characters, and on their humanity no matter how obscured by circumstance.
In a moment of sympathy for an inmate doing life without parole, Davis reflects:
"From my point of view we were all victims, even the lowest of the low, the most foul, forlorn and forsaken fuckers on the planet: victimized by the lack of a key, by a missing piece, by the absence of a blueprint, an instruction manual, a map of the soul; by too much of one chemical, too little of another."
Penitentiary Tales: A Love Story will appeal to adventurous and intelligent readers of all persuasions who appreciate a literary walk on the wild side.
EA LUETKEMEYER served four years of a ten year sentence in an Illinois State Prison in the eighties for possession of marijuana, an experience he embraces and which informs much of his writing and world-view. Penitentiary Tales: a Love Story is based on the journal he kept to memorialize those years. He was awarded an MFA in Creative writing from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, in 2015.
His short fiction has appeared in Sou'wester, Opium Magazine, Commonthought, Del Sol Review, Perversion Magazine, The Ilanot Review, and the anthology Stories That Must Be Told. He is the author of the novel Inside the Mind of Martin Mueller and the memoir The Book of Chuck: A Memorial Compilation of Poetry and Prose.
He lives and writes between the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern Oregon and favors the trite but true adage that bad roads lead to good stories.
Visit his website: www.ealuetkemeyer.com