Writing political books about, for example, Haiti, means knowing that every reader who gets the book is a victory. Consequently, having one less reader get the book is a serious matter.
I tried to send my book to Alex Hundert, a G20 defendant who is currently locked up in Penatanguishene. I was told that books have to go direct from the publisher, so I asked my Canadian publisher, BTL, to do it for me. They were quick and efficient and sent the book off.
The other day I got this back from my publisher:
"The book that we sent to Alex was returned to us by Canada Post. It was refused by the addressee (i.e. the institution) and there was a handwritten note, saying books are not accepted."
I went back to Alex's blog and noticed this comment:
"It will be hard to sort out how to get books/stuff to him, because the jails do not consistently follow their own rules. A lot of it depends on who in the building is receiving the mail and what kind of mood they’re in, and if Alex has done anything they consider ‘bothersome’. No matter how you slice it, it’s gonna be a roll of the dice. So don’t give up on the first problem, keep working at it until stuff gets through."
So, for now, thanks to the arbitrariness of this correctional system, I'll have to hold on to Alex's copy of the book.