A Woman's Life in the Underworld
Arlyne Weiss grew up on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the daughter of a Jewish mobster who ran an auto sales business as a front. In 1947, aged 14, she made the decision to emulate her heroine, Bugsy Siegel's girlfriend Virginia Hill, and become a gangster's moll.
Her teen years were a carnival of sexual promiscuity, forgiven by her doting father but vociferously condemned by her critical mother. Arlyne considered Jewish mobsters too businesslike and tame; she preferred Italians, whom she found dangerous and hence exciting. Briefly married to small-time swindler Norman Brickman (whose last name she retained), she had a daughter who became a drug addict and died of AIDS in 1989.
After 25 years in the criminal underworld, Arlyne became first an occasional and then, in 1975, a full-time police informant; she was a major witness in the government's successful case against the Colombo crime family. Carpenter, who won a Pulitzer for her crime reporting at New York's Village Voice, expertly recounts Arlyne's anomalous tale.
Makeready is set to produce a film adaptation with Jennifer Lawrence to star as Arlyne Brickman, and Paolo Sorrentino to direct. Angelina Burnett (Halt and Catch Fire, The Americans) has written the script.
Sophie Baker manages the translation rights for Mob Girl