Your mother faints. Your father tries to be strong. Your sister
runs out of the courtroom. Your brother, Bernie, stands frozen.
You are put in handcuffs and taken away. Your upbringing does
little to prepare you for what lies ahead. You have watched TV and
have heard all the tales of prison rape. That does not happen--no
sexual assault--but you are beaten with fists during your first week.
You make the mistake of identifying who did it. You get beaten twice
more and spend three weeks in the infirmary. Years later, you will
still sometimes find blood in your urine, a souvenir from a blow to
You live in constant fear. When you are let back into the general
population, you learn that the only way you can survive is to join a
bizarre offshoot of the Aryan Nation. They do not have big ideas or
a grandiose vision of what America should be like. They pretty much
just love to hate.
Six months into your incarceration your father dies of a heart
attack. You know that it's your fault. You want to cry, but you
You spend four years in prison. Four years--the same amount of
time most students spend in college. You are just shy of your
twenty-fifth birthday. They say you've changed, but you're not
When you walk out, you step tentatively. As if the ground below
your feet might give. As if the earth might simply cave in on you at
In some ways you will always walk like that.
Your brother, Bernie, is at the gate to meet you. Bernie just got
married. His wife, Marsha, is pregnant with their first child. He
puts his arms around you. You can almost feel the last four years
shed away. Your brother makes a joke. You laugh, really laugh, for
the first time in so long.
You were wrong before--your life did not end on that cold night in
Amherst. Your brother will help you find normalcy. You will even
meet a beautiful woman down the road. Her name is Olivia. She will
make you enormously happy.
You will marry her.
One day--nine years after you walk through those gates--you will
learn that your beautiful wife is pregnant. You decide to buy camera
phones to stay in constant touch. While you're at work, that phone
Your name is Matt Hunter. The phone rings a second time. And then
you answer it. . . .
Research shows that 90% of Americans value public libraries(Dec 11 2013) According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, about 90% of Americans aged 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an...