As a favor for a friend, a bright and talented young woman volunteered to read her poetry to a group of prisoners during a Black History Month program. It was an encounter that would alter her life forever, because it was there, in the prison, that she would meet Rashid, the man who was to become her friend, her confidant, her husband, her lover, her soul mate. At the time, Rashid was serving a sentence of twenty years to life for his part in a murder. The Prisoner's Wife is a testimony, for wives and mothers, friends and families. It's a tribute to anyone who has ever chosen, against the odds, to love.
Lucy lost Jack years ago. Jack Hunter's father was a drunk and a criminal, and Lucy Hamblin's father believed the apple lay near the tree. When her father forbade their love, Lucy buried her heart out of obedience, but she never stopped loving Jack. On a strange evening four years later, she's summoned to the local jail. Jack has been accused of murder and has a request to make of Lucy. It appears Jack Hunter will hang in the morning, and to preserve his property and provide for the woman he loves, he asks Lucy to marry him. When his trial is postponed and ultimately dismissed, Jack has new worries: Lucy agreed to become a prosoner's widow, not the wife of a man her father despised. Can Lucy and Jack accept he Lord's miracle of preservation - of Jack's life and reputation...and the love they believed they'd lost?
Suburban raised and Ivy League educated, Amy Friedman is an American writer living in Ontario, Canada. A minor celebrity, she writes a newspaper column about whatever pleases her--subjects as far flung as life on the sheep farm she shares with her lover; South African apartheid; good bourbon; flying a Cessna. Her life seems charmed. Then one day a local prison volunteer challenges her to write about the prisons that surround her adopted city. Prison is in her blood; her grandfather and her father both were prisoners of war, and Friedman has always fought for the rights of those less fortunate than she. At a nearby medium security penitentiary she meets administrators and guards as well as dozens of prisoners, among them the chairman of the inmate committee: Will is a handsome, charming Lifer who turned down a college hockey scholarship to join a motorcycle gang. Now he is serving year 7 of a 13-to-Life sentence for murdering another drug dealer. And yes, Will is guilty. But he is also one of the few men Friedman trusts is telling her the truth about life inside. When prison administrators tell her she can no longer talk to him--guards have complained he's too political--Friedman rebels. And that rebellion results in banishment from prison. Everything begins to unravel as Friedman gives up the idea of writing about prison and instead signs on to be Will's visitor. As she falls in love with him, friends and colleagues ostracize her, but when they are threatened with separation, they marry behind prison walls. Friedman becomes part of a world once entirely unknown to her. When Will's two daughters move in with her, what was once a literary life becomes a battle against prison officials and politicians, a struggle to keep the family afloat, and a steep journey toward learning just what justice is for those on the inside, and for their loved ones. One Woman Army writer and activist Claire Culhane becomes Friedman's friend and champion. Friedman shares time with her husband in prison trailers, and she finds out who her true friends are. For seven years together they work towards his parole. When he is released on day parole, Will is unprepared for life outside. As he disintegrates, so does the marriage. What remains is a stronger, if sadder woman, a vital and loving bond with the girls she has helped to raise as her own, and deep insights about what is happening to those millions and millions of innocents who happen to love someone inside. This is a book anyone who has ever loved against the odds will cherish, for it is about what love can and cannot do.
One Woman's Story of Survival Inside an Iranian Prison
Author: Marina Nemat
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Follows the author's tragic childhood in 1980s Iran, which was shaped by war, the Khomeini regime, and her work as a teen anti-propaganda activist, efforts for which she was brutally beaten and sentenced to death before a guard offered to save her and protect her family if she would convert to Islam and marry him. Reprint. 40,000 first printing.
BOOK SYNOPSIS FOR “MEMOIRS OF A LAWYER/PRISON WIFE This book is more than a successful love story of an attorney who fell in love, married and had a child with a man serving twenty-five years to life in prison. It is the journey of a lawyer who, against all odds, not only fought to protect the civil rights of men and women in New York City jails and New York State prisons but also a prison wife who fights the system as a visitor. Along the way, she faces hurdles and somehow always manages to come out on top. You will laugh and you will cry as you read about her life which includes being the ninth of ten children that never felt loved by her parents , joining the Army Reserve for a part-time job “that wasn’t worth it” to partying with her and her siblings on Rockaway Beach and fighting drug dealers in her apartment building.
This memoir relates one Americans compelling journey of conscience that culminated in a federal prison sentence for a peaceful act of resistance. Kennon was one of twenty-five Americans in a single federal trial to receive the maximum sentence for a petty offense. Six months for a Class B misdemeanor and a $3,000 fine. The introduction, a fast-forward through this offenders life story, clearly reveals the motivations and consequences of this clergymans purposeful act of resistance, in the spirit of Gandhi and King and in the face of a governmental threat of prison time. Chapters 1 through 7 are taken from his contemporaneous prison journal and letters to family members. They tell how he was dealing with what happened each month during the time he was incarcerated. Over the years I have studied corrections as a sociologist and visited inmates as a clergyman. It is a very different experience being a prisoner, writes Kennon. He paints prison life with a mixture of pain and humor that captures the ironic picture of a correctional institution bent on retribution without rehabilitation. Mingled among these pages are his prison poems, reflections, and articles, as well as selected excerpts from wise writings he encountered during his time there. An epilogue gives a glimpse into what has happened since his release and a brief update on the struggle for peace that caused him, and scores of other Americans, to become prisoners of conscience.
A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison
Author: Dwayne Betts
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A unique prison narrative that testifies to the power of books to transform a young man's life At the age of sixteen, R. Dwayne Betts-a good student from a lower- middle-class family-carjacked a man with a friend. He had never held a gun before, but within a matter of minutes he had committed six felonies. In Virginia, carjacking is a "certifiable" offense, meaning that Betts would be treated as an adult under state law. A bright young kid, he served his nine-year sentence as part of the adult population in some of the worst prisons in the state. A Question of Freedom chronicles Betts's years in prison, reflecting back on his crime and looking ahead to how his experiences and the books he discovered while incarcerated would define him. Utterly alone, Betts confronts profound questions about violence, freedom, crime, race, and the justice system. Confined by cinder-block walls and barbed wire, he discovers the power of language through books, poetry, and his own pen. Above all, A Question of Freedom is about a quest for identity-one that guarantees Betts's survival in a hostile environment and that incorporates an understanding of how his own past led to the moment of his crime.
A Memoir of the Prison I Worked In and the Prison I Lived In
Author: Sara Lunsford
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Category: Biography & Autobiography
"A gritty, raw, and engrossing voice."—Publishers Weekly I was a bad mother, a bad daughter, a bad wife, a bad friend. Boozed out and tired, with no dreams and no future. But I was a good officer. Sara Lunsford helped cage the worst of the worst, from serial killers to sex criminals. At the end of every day, when she walked out the prison gate, she had to try to shed the horrors she witnessed. But the darkness invaded every part of her life, no matter how much she tried to immerse herself in a liquor bottle. She couldn't hide from the things that hurt her, the things that made her bleed, the things that still rise up in the dark and choke her. With a magnetic, raw voice that you won't soon forget, Sweet Hell on Fire grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. It's a hardscrabble climb from rock bottom to the new ground of a woman who understands the meaning of sacrifice, the joy of redemption, and the quiet haven to be found in hope.
David Harris-Gershon and his wife, Jamie, moved to Jerusalem full of hope. Then, in the midst of a historic cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, a bomb shrieked through Hebrew University’s cafeteria. Jamie was hurled across the room, her body burned and sliced with shrapnel; the friends sitting next to her were instantly killed. David was desperate for answers—why now? why here? why my wife? But when a doctor handed him some shrapnel removed from Jamie’s body, he refused to accept that this bit of metal made him “one of us”—another traumatized victim who would never be able to move on. Instead, he dug into Israeli government records to uncover what triggered the attack, then returned to East Jerusalem to meet the terrorist and his family. Part memoir, part political thriller, part exposé of the conduct of the peace process, this fearless debut confronts the personal costs of the Middle East conflict—and reveals the human capacity for recovery and reconciliation, no matter the circumstance.
The instant New York Times Bestseller The emotional and powerful story of one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and how the movement was born. "This remarkable book reveals what inspired Patrisse's visionary and courageous activism and forces us to face the consequence of the choices our nation made when we criminalized a generation. This book is a must-read for all of us." - Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.
The gifted author of the acclaimed memoir The Prisoner’s Wife delivers a deeply penetrating work—an emotionally shattering first novel that explores the perils of silence and illuminates the fragile complexity of the mother-daughter bond. On a winter night in Brooklyn, Aya Rivers, a vibrant nineteen-year-old black girl, is shot by a white police officer in a case of mistaken identity. Her mother, Miriam, a rigid and guarded woman, rushes to the hospital. As Miriam desperately waits at Aya’s bedside, she falls back into memories of her own youth, when her life took a series of tragic turns as she struggled for independence and dealt with the end of her relationship with Aya’s father. But as Miriam’s recollections of love and regret descend upon her, this woman who has spent nearly every day of her life in an emotional prison finds that her wounds slowly give way to healing and a tentative hopefulness. With the lyrical economy of poetry, Asha Bandele tells a powerful story that boldly confronts timely and troubling issues. Daughter is an unforgettable portrait of one extraordinary woman and her journey—from secrecy to openness, from the silence of isolation to the beauty of connection. This version of the ebook contains an updated introduction by the author and a very special survival guide for today’s activists and advocates against police violence, including the founders and members of Black Lives Matter, and Michelle Alexander, Harry Belafonte, Susan L. Taylor, Marc Lamont Hill, journalists Esther Armah and Kirsten West Savali, and Kadiatou Diallo.
Driving down the Long Island Expressway in November of 1992, Sol Wachtler was New York’s chief judge and heir apparent to the New York governorship. Suddenly, three van loads of FBI agents swerved in front of him—bringing his car and his legal career to a halt. Wachtler's subsequent arrest, conviction, and incarceration for harassing his longtime lover precipitated a media feeding frenzy, revealing to the world his struggles with romantic attachment, manic depression, and drug abuse. In this, his prison diary, Wachtler reveals the stark reality behind his vertiginous fall from the heights of the legal establishment to the underbelly of the criminal justice system. Sentenced to a medium security prison in Butner, North Carolina, Wachtler is stabbed by an unseen assailant, berated by prison guards, and repeatedly placed in solitary confinement with no explanation. Moreover, as a prisoner he confronts firsthand the inequities of a system his judicial rulings helped to construct and befriends the type of people he once sentenced. With unflinching honesty, Wachtler draws on his unique experience of living life on both sides of the bench to paint a chilling portrait of prison life interwoven with a no‐holds‐barred analysis of the shortcomings of the American legal justice system.
The sixth (and last) wife of Norman Mailer, Norris Church Mailer, met the late writer in 1975, when she was 26 and he twice her age; they were married for 33 years. Her memoir is, among other things, the story of a series of emancipations: from the constraints of her loving but limiting parents and the claustrophobic moralism of her Arkansas hometown; from her first marriage to a man she quickly outgrew; and from her inhibitions about writing and creating art. Norris Church Mailer who has led a life as large and as colorful as her husband's, and every bit as engaging.
Follows the author's incarceration for drug trafficking, during which she gained a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and met a varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances.
"A remarkable story of a young man's loss of everything he deemed important, and his ultimate discovery that redemption can be taught by society's most dreaded outcasts." —John Grisham "Hilarious, astonishing, and deeply moving." —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil The emotional, incredible true story of Neil White, a man who discovers the secret to happiness, leading a fulfilling life, and the importance of fatherhood in the most unlikely of places—the last leper colony in the continental United States. In the words of Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler (A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain), White is “a splendid writer,” and In the Sanctuary of Outcasts “a book that will endure.”
"Built on her wildly popular Modern Love column, 'When a Couch is More Than a Couch' (9/23/2016), a breathtaking memoir of living meaningfully with 'death in the room' by the 38 year old great-great-great granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, mother to two young boys, wife of 16 years, after her terminal cancer diagnosis"--
Few westerners will ever be able to understand Muslim or Afghan society unless they are part of a Muslim family. Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn, embarked on an adventure that has lasted for more than a half-century. In 1961, when she arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, authorities took away her American passport. Chesler was now the property of her husband's family and had no rights of citizenship. Back in Afghanistan, her husband, a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family, with no chance of escape. She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family's attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband's wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth. Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid—and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture. Chesler nearly died there but she managed to get out, returned to her studies in America, and became an author and an ardent activist for women's rights throughout the world. An American Bride in Kabul is the story of how a naïve American girl learned to see the world through eastern as well as western eyes and came to appreciate Enlightenment values. This dramatic tale re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.
A man questions everything--his faith, his morality, his country--as he recounts his experience as an interrogator in Iraq; an unprecedented memoir and "an act of incredible bravery" (Phil Klay) "Remarkable... Both an agonized confession and a chilling expose of one of the darkest interludes of the War on Terror. Only this kind of courage and honesty can bring America back to the democratic values that we are so rightfully proud of." --Sebastian Junger Consequence is the story of Eric Fair, a kid who grew up in the shadows of crumbling Bethlehem Steel plants nurturing a strong faith and a belief that he was called to serve his country. It is a story of a man who chases his own demons from Egypt, where he served as an Army translator, to a detention center in Iraq, to seminary at Princeton, and eventually, to a heart transplant ward at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004, after several months as an interrogator with a private contractor in Iraq, Eric Fair's nightmares take new forms: first, there had been the shrinking dreams; now the liquid dreams begin. By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment (he will return), Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation. Years later, his health and marriage crumbling, haunted by the role he played in what we now know as "enhanced interrogation," it is Fair's desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. Spare and haunting, Eric Fair's memoir is both a brave, unrelenting confession and a book that questions the very depths of who he, and we as a country, have become.
An Innocent Man’s 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace
Author: Michael Morton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Biography & Autobiography
“A devastating and infuriating book, more astonishing than any legal thriller by John Grisham” (The New York Times) about a young father who spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit…and his eventual exoneration and return to life as a free man. On August 13, 1986, just one day after his thirty-second birthday, Michael Morton went to work at his usual time. By the end of the day, his wife Christine had been savagely bludgeoned to death in the couple’s bed—and the Williamson County Sherriff’s office in Texas wasted no time in pinning her murder on Michael, despite an absolute lack of physical evidence. Michael was swiftly sentenced to life in prison for a crime he had not committed. He mourned his wife from a prison cell. He lost all contact with their son. Life, as he knew it, was over. Drawing on his recollections, court transcripts, and more than 1,000 pages of personal journals he wrote in prison, Michael recounts the hidden police reports about an unidentified van parked near his house that were never pursued; the bandana with the killer’s DNA on it, that was never introduced in court; the call from a neighboring county reporting the attempted use of his wife’s credit card, which was never followed up on; and ultimately, how he battled his way through the darkness to become a free man once again. “Even for readers who may feel practically jaded about stories of injustice in Texas—even those who followed this case closely in the press—could do themselves a favor by picking up Michael Morton’s new memoir…It is extremely well-written [and] insightful” (The Austin Chronicle). Getting Life is an extraordinary story of unfathomable tragedy, grave injustice, and the strength and courage it takes to find forgiveness.