Nearly 20 years ago, Erwin James was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He writes with honesty and great lucidity about learning the who, what, why and when of prison life and how, in the depths of the system seemingly designed to destroy the soul, he nonetheless discovered self-worth through education and a talent for writing.
The author’s background starts with a childhood with a father who turned to alcohol and violence, after James’ mother died when he was seven years old.
In his teenage years, he drifted, committing petty crimes culminating in the vicious murder for which he was jailed for life in 1984.
Thanks to the support of the prison psychologist, Joan, he transformed his life over the course of 20 years, completing a B.A. in History and writing columns for The Guardian.
A timely memoir, the author now lives in Wales and is a speaker and commentator on prison issues in the U.K. He is now a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and an Honorary Master of the Open University. James has also appeared at The Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House.
An unforgettable memoir – touched by compassion and pathos – it shows that redemption is possible.
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