January 12th, 2002

The Discarded Gangster of Love

I went the Ann Arbor Re-use/Recycle Center this morning looking for ceramic bathroom tiles of smaller-than-average size. I didn't find any, but I did find a copy of Jessica Hagedorn's The Gangster of Love. On the inside cover was a scribble of black ink -- probably the previous owner's name -- and in pencil the price $12.95.

In the center of the title page, in black ball-point pen, is what looks to be Jessica Hagedorn's signature. I paid fifty cents for the book and left.

Is it really Jessica Hagedorn's signature? Would anyone else sign the name Jessica Hagedorn on the title page of a Jessica Hagedorn book? What Jessica Hagedorn fan asked the author to sign a paperback book and then discarded it?

The strangest part of all is this: I'm far more likely to five hours trying to authenticate the signature than I am to spend five hours to read it.

[Edit: on 25-May-2008, I compared the signature to a signed Jessican Hagedorn novel on Ebay, and the signature matches.]