In 2003 Wally Lamb--the author of two of the most beloved novels of our time, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True--published Couldn't Keep It to Myself, a collection of essays by the students in his writing workshop at the maximum-security York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only prison for women. Writing, Lamb discovered, was ...
In 2003 Wally Lamb--the author of two of the most beloved novels of our time, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True--published Couldn't Keep It to Myself, a collection of essays by the students in his writing workshop at the maximum-security York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only prison for women. Writing, Lamb discovered, was a way for these women to confront painful memories, face their fears and their failures, and begin to imagine better lives. The New York Times described the book as Gut-tearing tales . . . the unvarnished truth. The Los Angeles Times said of it, Lying next to and rising out of despair, hope permeates this book. Now Lamb returns with I'll Fly Away, a new volume of intimate, searching pieces from the York workshop. Here, twenty women--eighteen inmates and two of Lamb's cofacilitators--share the experiences that shaped them from childhood and that haunt and inspire them to this day. These portraits, vignettes, and stories depict with soul-baring honesty how and why women land in prison--and what happens once they get there. The stories are as varied as the individuals who wrote them, but each testifies to the same core truth: the universal value of knowing oneself and changing one's life through the power of the written word.
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?I?ll Fly Away" was one of the most inspirational and bitter books I have read. This book, though not too large carries much depth and emotion inside of its pages.
I expected the first story to be about the horrors of prison culture, but it was simply a calming and brief lesson. The variety and diversity of the stories created a good balance and pulled you in. I felt as if I too were in their confinement, anchored to their struggles.
After reading this book I truly appreciated my freedom and also felt inclined to notice even the smallest things like bathroom privacy, the freedom of not being isolated from society. I knew I could only read this book once and never again, so I passed it to a stranger on the bus when I finished it. She said she would pass it along as well.
This book is an ideal choice for college discussion or anyone who is thinking about going into a field that deals with social issues and justice.
Aug 27, 2009
i love this author
Wally Lamb is absolutely phenomenal, having a hardcover signed edition of his is just icing on the cake.
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