Convictions: My Journey

Arlene Violet, Author Random House (NY) $17.95 (209p) ISBN 978-0-394-55182-1
Feisty and fiercely independent as a child, Violet apparently lost none of those traits when she entered a convent and in 1974 became the first Rhode Island nun to graduate from law school. When, with the support of her community, the Sisters of Mercy, she decided to run for public office, she incurred ecclesiastical censure that required her to withdraw from the religious life. In a highly publicized career as this country's first female state attorney, Violet was dubbed ""Attila the Nun'' because of the vigorous approach her office took to rooting out corruption on all levels. She brought suit against a bishop, reopened the notorious Claus Von Bulow case and challenged mob control and special interests in Rhode Island to the extent that she required a bodyguard. Violet is now in private practice, we learn in this first-person narrative written with freelancer Prohaska. The anecdotes related here are self-serving on occasion, but they shed light on legal cronyism and illuminate the life of a woman who can say, ``Nuns are cantankerous people.'' Photos not seen by PW. (February 15)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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