(Kerry Reid’s article appeared in the Chicago Tribune, 8/22.)
"If you think this is going to be a history lesson, you've come to the wrong place," says a character at the top of Alex Paul Young's "Pink Milk," a highly imaginative and wrenching vision of the life (and ultimate suicide) of Alan Turing. The pioneering British mathematician and computer scientist famously broke the Nazis' Enigma code in World War II but was broken down by the same barbaric laws against "gross indecency" that destroyed Oscar Wilde.
Given a choice between jail and chemical castration, Turing initially chose the latter. But the man who saw "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" more than a hundred times killed himself by eating a cyanide-infused apple two weeks before his 42nd birthday in 1954. He was finally "pardoned" by the British government this summer for breaking the laws against homosexuality.