You might be surprised to learn that David Mamet — the playwright and screenwriter best known for such decidedly non-G-rated fare as The Untouchables, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Hannibal — authored a children’s book in 1999. You might be further surprised to learn that the story takes place at Harvard Law School.
For those of you who’ve ever wondered whether the world’s largest academic law library is so foolish as to not have any books with pictures in them, I give you Henrietta, the touching story of “an ambitious pig [who] overcomes prejudice while following her dream of attending law school.”
Near the beginning of the tale, and with more than a hint of sarcasm, Mamet writes, “To Boston, Athens of the North, did our pig go — for Boston sets itself up as our Seat of Learning, and have not the Luminaries in all the fields issued from there these last three hundred years?”
Granted, Harvard is never mentioned by name in the book, but the references to it are both numerous and unsubtle, including Massachusetts-based Elizabeth Dahlie’s illustrations of the Charles Hotel, the Larz Anderson Bridge, and our very own Langdell Hall.
Of course, I can’t tell you how the story ends, but if you’re a fan of literature in which a pig winds up as a United States Supreme Court Justice, then this is the book for you.