For several years, Wally Lamb, the author of two of the most beloved novels of our time, has run a writing workshop at the York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only maximum-security prison for women. Writing, Lamb discovered, was a way for these women to face their fears and failures and begin to imagine better lives. Couldn't Keep It to Myself, a collection of their essays, was published in 2003 to great critical acclaim. With I'll Fly Away, Lamb offers readers a new volume of intimate pieces from the York workshop. Startling, heartbreaking, and inspiring, these stories are as varied as the individuals who wrote them, but each illuminates an important core truth: that a life can be altered through self-awareness and the power of the written word.
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"Accomplished.Each story, no matter how grim or gritty, shows polish." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Inspiring and raw.They write from the heart.each vignette is more compelling than the one before it." -- Library Journal
"Inspiring and raw...They write from the heart...each vignette is more compelling than the one before it."--Library Journal
"Lamb . . . continues to offer readers an intimate look at women struggling to maintain their humanity."--Booklist
"Accomplished...Each story, no matter how grim or gritty, shows polish."--Kirkus Reviews
Lamb . . . continues to offer readers an intimate look at women struggling to maintain their humanity. --Booklist"
Inspiring and raw They write from the heart each vignette is more compelling than the one before it. --Library Journal"
Accomplished Each story, no matter how grim or gritty, shows polish. --Kirkus Reviews"
"It was suicide that brought me to Connecticut's York Correctional Facility. Two of the inmates had ended their lives; others had tried. The teachers at the prison school were desperate to equip their students with ways of coping with the despair that had infected the institution...Writing began to give them wings with which to hover above the confounding maze of their lives, the better to see the patterns, the dead ends, and a way out." from the Introduction by Wally Lamb. Here, in works of memoir, poetry, and introspection, twenty imprisoned women share the experiences that shaped them from childhood, and that trouble and inspire them to this day. Here are stories of anger, physical abuse, rape, and emotional distress, but also more positive memories: of expressions of love, of gifts received and remembered, of light moments from happier times. These portraits, vignettes, and stories are painted in many colours: innocence and pain, denial, redemption, and transcendence. And, at their heart, they all testify 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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