In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer desperate for
adventure, college cash, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand
dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with
hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners
sold the drug until federal agents finally caught up to them in a bust at the
Chelsea Hotel. For his part in the conspiracy, the twenty-year-old Gantos was
sentenced to serve up to six years in prison.
In Hole in My Life, this acclaimed author of more than 30 books
for young people confronts the period of struggle and confinement that marked
the end of his own youth. On the surface, the narrative tumbles from one
intense moment to the next as Gantos pieces together the story of his restless
final year of high school, his short-lived career as a smuggler, and his time
in prison. But running just beneath the action is the story of how Gantos—once
he found himself locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell—moved from wanting to
be a writer to writing, and how this newfound dedication helped him endure the
worst experience of his life.
Download and start listening now!