Recently, Freedom Ticket had the opportunity to interview Walter Mosley
. Mosley is the author of more than 29 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins
. Another of his series is a powerful trilogy about an ex-offender, Socrates Fortlow
, and his adjustment to life in Los Angeles after being released from prison.
As you developed the character of Socrates Fortlow, what did you learn about the reentry challenges facing people who were formerly incarcerated?
You have a long period of punishment and then a long period of suspicion. It’s not impossible to build a life. As a matter of fact, it’s very possible to build a life, but most of the details of every day are against building it.
How can reading and libraries help people make positive changes in their lives?
One of the things that can cut down recidivism is learning how to read and learning how to read better. Books are important things to people in prison. Whenever you encounter a book, there’s an opportunity.
If Socrates Fortlow were a real person and looking for a good book to read, what would you recommend?
Wow! I’d probably say “Les Misérables
” by Victor Hugo. Because it’s really dealing with the issue of being criminalized by a society that doesn’t care at all about you and at the same time that it’s up to you to make a life for yourself.