On the Yard (New York Review Books Classics)
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A major American novel, and arguably the finest work of literature ever to emerge from a US prison, On the Yard is a book of penetrating psychological realism in which Malcolm Braly paints an unforgettable picture of the complex and frightening world of the penitentiary. At its center are the violently intertwined stories of Chilly Willy, in trouble with the law from his earliest years and now the head of the prison's flourishing black market in drugs and sex, and of Paul, wracked with guilt for the murder of his wife and desperate for some kind of redemption. At once brutal and tender, clear-eyed and rueful, On the Yard presents the penitentiary not as an exotic location, an exception to everyday reality, but as an ordinary place, one every reader will recognize, American to the core.
pillowcase of cell supplies and the blanket roll and for a moment his face betrayed disappointment—then he smiled. Manning received an impression of dense black hair, a white eroded complexion, and light blue eyes sunken under heavy brows. Then a guard far down the tier was manipulating the automatic controls, causing a sound like muffled but rapidly approaching gunfire as the stops in the lever box were tried and discarded one by one until the door of cell 63 jerked and rolled open. Manning
remember that every shuck in the prison’s in that line trying to play on the doctors for a cell pass, or a few days in the hospital. But if they see you’re really sick, you probably get better attention here than you would on the streets. A lot of high-class specialists donate their time over here.” Manning wanted to continue the conversation, but he couldn’t think of anything to say. He nodded to signify his thanks and Juleson went back to his book. Manning rolled over on his side, and his
passes, furloughs.” “The professional inmate takes his paroles as furloughs. Perhaps he doesn’t always realize this, but he leaves with some money and a fresh charge of energy, and when his money is gone in a month or two he does some desperate or foolish thing and finds his way back ... to his outfit. But that is not you. Mr. Manning, how do you plan to spend your time here?” “I’ll study. Try to equip myself to make a new life whenever I’m freed.” “You don’t sound too hopeful.” “I’m not too
pay the price to stay in them. Myself, I never felt like joining them.” “He’s got you figured for five tampings this last year,” Red said. “He’s giving me a little more credit than I deserve.” “That’s what I tried to tell him.” Nunn spoke up to ask, “Why do you think he took the trouble to send you a warning?” “I think he’s trying to play with my head. He’s no knight to send a goddam challenge. If he had us by the balls he’d start pulling. No, he’s putting a little shit in the
“Your friend. Red. I don’t like him.” “He’s all right.” “And you’re just going to give me to him? What do you think I am?” Chilly stared levelly. “All right, what are you?” “I’m a person. You can’t take that away from me. I’m a person.” “I’m not trying to take anything away from you. Listen, you silly little bitch, this is not Tracy. If someone doesn’t stand in front of you, you’ll get your little ass killed, or someone will be ripping you off every time you try to take a shower. Not that I