Monday, April 23, 2018 | ePaper

Confessed murderer writes short stories

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Life Desk :

Curtis Dawkins makes his debut with "The Graybar Hotel", a collection of 14 stories about jail, prison and post-prison life. A drug addict and a confessed murderer serving life sentence for a drug-related homicide sans parole, he was an M.F.A. degree holder and a contemporary writer before a night in October 2004 changed everything for him.
Dawkins' book is a controversial topic because though it has an appeal and was complimented by Nickolas Butler as "rare and authentic" work, his past actions have created a revolt regarding its publication. Dividing opinions shroud the release.
Dawkins stories possesses the acquired wisdom of a man who's been there, done that.
Apparently, there is no way out for Darwin unless given a pardon but his stories surely are making him a reincarnation round the world.
Prisoners are the inspiration for Dawkin's stories. The idea of the extraordinary life of seclusion intensifying emotions be it boredom or anger, isolation or unbearable sadness, fear or mental delusion is quite exotically dealt with.
He writes, "When you're separated from the people you know and love, every emotion is multiplied. Your mind becomes a very clear prism, into which every feeling enters, then becomes seven or eight different shades."
The tales of prison and life post prison follows those of the country jail sharing with the reader the occasional glimpse of the life he lives. The tales deal with the dimensions of human dispositions.
His prison stories are insightful and well versed with truth in them. His stories are first hand narratives by an unnamed prisoner whose crime though never revealed but the guilt is quite palpable.
"The Graybar Hotel's" release will inspire others to be more comprehensive, giving them the hope to get published while they pen their thought but its sale will decide if the world can look beyond his sin and give him a chance to live the penance.
· ToI

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