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The Devil's Stocking
The Devil’s Stocking is the story of Ruby Calhoun, a boxer accused of murder in a shadowy world of low-purse fighters, cops, con artists, and bar girls. Chronicling a battle for truth and human dignity which gives way to a larger story of life and death decisions, literary grandmaster Nelson Algren’s last novel is a fitting capstone to a long and brilliant career.
Paperback, 316 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Seven Stories Press
(first published January 1st 1983)
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My first read of Algren -- before this knew him only as Simone de Beauvoir's other boyfriend. As much as I enjoy the existentialists, it was a pleasant surprise that Algren wasn't bent that way at all. Devil's Stocking is a deeply moral book, grave, and offers an excellent portal on racial injustice as it stood in the 60's. Interesting dissection of sex work as well, and most hauntingly the effectiveness of the prison system as an instrument of oppression. Good news: criminal justice system not ...more
Born of Swedish-immigrant parents, Nelson Ahlgren Abraham moved at an early age from Detroit to Chicago. At Illinois University he studied journalism. His experiences as a migrant worker during the Depression provided the material for his first novel Somebody in Boots (1935). Throughout his life Algren identified with the American underdog. From 1936 to 1940 (the highpoint of left-wing ideas on th ...moreMore about Nelson Algren...