Brampton library book returned 50 years late

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Published August 17, 2022 at 7:52 pm

A library-goer must have really liked this book, after all they kept it more than 50 years past it’s due date before returning it to the Brampton Library.

On March 21, 1971, a  checked out a copy of The American Dream by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Edward Albee. The American Dream is a one-act satirical play attacking the titular ideal and contemporary family dynamics.


A press note describes the work as “a ferocious, uproarious attack on the substitution of artificial for real values, a startling tale of murder and morality that rocks middle-class ethics to their complacent foundations.”

The American Dream debuted on January 24, 1961. It was quickly followed by Albee’s best known work Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). Five years later Albee won his first of three Pulitzers.

While considered a minor work compared to Albee’s later successes, the library-goer must have enjoyed it enough to wrack up nearly $1000 in late fees.

By the time of the book’s return it had been out of the library for 18,734 days. At the cost of a nickel per day that adds up to $930.80 in late fees.

Luck, or time, was on the library-goer’s side however. Brampton Libraries waived all late fees in January and won’t be applying anymore in future.

If any Bramptonians have been waiting to read The American Dream now’s the chance.

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