We tend to think of writers as shy, retiring types, who don’t get into any trouble and definitely don’t get arrested for disorderly conduct or treason. But of course, the literary world has had its fair share of wild and dangerous persons, some of whom are as notorious as criminals (whether rightly or falsely accused) as they are as writers. After the jump, check out 13 mugshots from famous authors’ adventures in police custody — not for use on the backs of book covers.
Pinched for: treason, 1945
Pinched for: being drunk, disorderly, et al, 1971
Pinched for: “active participation in an anti-Soviet Trotskyite organization” and “being a member of a terrorist conspiracy,” 1939
Pinched for: refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, 1947
Pinched for: oh so many things.
Pinched for: possession of marijuana, 1967
James Frey (with chicken pox!)
Pinched for: drunk driving and driving without a license, 1988
Pinched for: burglary, 1947
Pinched for: receipt of stolen property, 1944
Jack Henry Abbott
Pinched for: robbery, and then — post-bestselling novel, prison sentence, and Norman Mailer-induced fame — murder. This photo taken in 2000.
Pinched for: “anti-Soviet propaganda” in a private letter to a friend. Photo taken upon his release from the Gulag, 1953
Pinched for: criminal libel (re: the Dreyfus affair), 1898
Pinched for: All right, so this is his Naval Reserve Enlistment mugshot. But still, 1943