Lamb Cake: A Prison Story

Some authors find their books on banned books lists and feel a strange giddyness, a tremor in the weirder, sillier parts of their brains, tickled that someone would take offense at their little words.

Me? I get emails from CORRECTIONS INSTITUTES.

That’s right. They’re taking me away. CUFF ME.

Kidding. Mostly.

Red Adept, the publisher of Sacrificial Lamb Cake, received an email from Arizona State Corrections, offering the chance to APPEAL a decision on disallowing the book in the prison.

Here’s a snippet of the email:

To Whom It May Concern:

The Arizona Department of Corrections has determined that your publication described below contains Unauthorized Content as defined in Department Order 914.07 and, as a result, may be released in part or excluded in whole for the specific reason(s) given below.

Publication Title: Sacrificial Lamb Cake

ISBN: 9781940215426 Volume/Number: Publication Date: 2015

Reason: DO 914.07 – 1.2.2.4 Masturbation, Lewd Exhibition
DO 914.07 – 1.2.2.5 Incestuous Sexual Activity
DO 914.07 – 1.2.15 Cipher/Code

You and/or the inmate subscriber may appeal the decision by notifying us via email or U.S. Mail within 30 calendar days after you receive this notice. By appealing, you consent to allowing OPR to redact any Unauthorized Content within the parameters set forth in Department Order 914.06 § 1.13. Your consent is strictly limited to authorizing ADC to alter by redaction your publication. It does not constitute consent to the substance of the actual redaction(s) subject to this Notice.

Lewd exhibition? Guilty.

Incestuous sexual activity? Uh… no?

Cipher/Code? FALSE. LIES. IT’S ALL LIES. (For real, though. No ciphers. No “Get out of Jail Free” cards slipped between the pages.

So it seems Lamb Cake will not be seeing the inside of an Arizona prison anytime soon. I have to wonder, though… HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I didn’t send them a copy. Red Adept didn’t send them anything. Did a prisoner somehow order it? Was it gifted to someone with a hastily scribbled cipher for dismantling the whole prison system in the margins?

We may never know, and that, friends, is a goddamned tragedy.

FIN.

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