State of Things
11:30 am
Tue November 29, 2011

When She Woke

Book cover, ''When She Woke''

For writer Hillary Jordan, the lessons of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, “The Scarlet Letter,” are relevant today. In her new book, “When She Woke” (Algonquin/2011), Jordan imagines that the skin tone of convicted criminals can be genetically altered to fit their misdeeds. Petty crimes are punished with yellow pigmentation, sex crimes with blue and criminals convicted of murder – like the book’s protagonist Hannah Payne – are turned bright red. Hannah, a devoutly religious young woman, is being punished for killing her unborn child. Her incarceration is also broadcast on reality TV.

Jordan joins host Frank Stasio to talk about creating a scarlet letter tale for today’s America.

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