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Description - The Silent Escape by Lena Constante

Victim of Stalinist-era terror, Lena Constante was arrested on trumped-up charges of "espionage" and sentenced to 12 years in Romanian prisons. This is the extraordinary account of the first eight years of her incarceration - years of solitary confinement during which she was tortured, starved and humiliated daily. The only woman to have endured isolation so long in Romanian jails, Constante is also one of the few women political prisoners to have written about her ordeal. Unlike other more political prison diaries, this book draws us into the practical and emotional experiences of everyday prison life. It describes the physical and psychological abuses that were the common lot of communist-state political prisoners and recounts the particular humiliations she suffered as a woman, including that of male guards watching her in the bathroom. Constante survived by escaping into her mind - and finally by discovering the "language of the walls", which enabled her to communicate with other female inmates.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780520082090
ISBN-10: 0520082095
Format: Hardback
Pages: 257
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 24-Mar-1995
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Lena Constante

Lena Constante, an artist and writer living in Bucharest, won the Association des Ecrivains de Langue Francaise's 1992 Prix Europeen for this book's French edition. Franklin Philip is a freelance translator living in Boston. Gail Kligman is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.