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Previously considered the domain of bikers and a rite of passage in the services, tattoos have crawled out society’s fringes and onto the ankles of starlets and the biceps of bankers. In this volume writers like Herman Melville, Elizabeth McCracken, Ray Bradbury and Sylvia Plath offer stories in which the full tattoo experience is brilliantly captured and explored. The modern tattoo industry is as comfortable on the mall as on the docks, with today’s tattoo parlour denizens likely to be folks who work 9-5 or teach economics at the local college, and this collection pulls us into that alluring world, capturing the mysterious fascination this practice has for us and defining the emotions and intensity attached to being tattooed.