The Joint

By: Blake, James; George Plimpton, afterword

Price: $20.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: good


Hardcover with dust jacket, brown cloth over black cloth spine with gilt spine titles, 14.5 by 21.4 cm, 382 pp. Good with some light soiling to the boards and edges of the textblock, and a small marker mar on the bottom edge of the textblock. There is a name in pen on the ffep as well as a presentation label from the International Famous Agency, Inc. of Los Angeles. The jacket is poor with heavy edge wear, tears and chips, scuffing and rubbing and an ink smear on the rear panel. A classic prison memoir that would made Blake (1922-1979), the gay jazz pianist, a sensation. From the flaps: “James Blake is unique among the many writers about life in prison. And, the revelations in this book are unique, not only in what they disclose about a sardonically brilliant convict, the self-styled ‘world’s most inept burglar,’ but in their view of prison society itself—its violence, grim humor, strange loves, and wild intrigues—and the questionable values of life in the world outside. With his talent and education, Blake might have succeeded at anything that interested him. He attended two universities, is a trained pianist, well-read, philosophical, and witty. But in alternating despair and amused incredulity at the foibles of his fellow man, plus a combination of unusual appetites (‘Pot is for peons’) made him march to a different drummer down a path that led inevitably through iron doors. James Blake has spent almost half of his adult life in prisons (the joint) and in these letters to various friends he describes life behind bars as no one ever has. Here are detailed accounts of love affairs in and out of jail, and they range from the lyrically poignant to the downright shocking; observations and famous and infamous people (he characterizes a celebrated author as ‘a genteel spinster embroidering dainty literary doilies with dirty words’). But most of all, The Joint is a hypnotically fascinating self-portrait of an extraordinary individual to whom prison offered a refuge and a freedom the outside world did not.”

Title: The Joint

Author Name: Blake, James; George Plimpton, afterword

Categories: Biography & Autobiography, Crime, Prison, LGBTQ, Gender Identity,

Edition: first edition

Publisher: Garden City, NY, Paris Review Editions (Doubleday): 1971

Binding: hardcover

Book Condition: good

Jacket Condition: poor

Seller ID: 3906