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Description - I'll Fly Away by Wally Lamb

"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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780061369223
ISBN-10: 0061369225
Format: Hardback
(230mm x 150mm x 24mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: HarperCollins
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2007
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - I'll Fly Away by Wally Lamb

Book Reviews - I'll Fly Away by Wally Lamb

US Kirkus Review » The second accomplished collection of writings from women incarcerated in Connecticut's York Correctional Institution, edited again by bestselling novelist Lamb (Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters, 2003, etc.).One would have thought the first volume, with its probing examinations of lives run amok, would have convinced prison authorities of the value of a writing program in which prisoners focus and take account. But the prison bureaucracy tried to shut it down, writes an incredulous and furious Lamb, and they confiscated the prisoners' material. That particular draconian administration was replaced with a more enlightened group, Lamb reports, one that allowed for the rehabilitative value of writing. These works radiate what Lamb saw as the program's critical mission: to give the women wings "to hover above the confounding maze of their lives, and from that perspective to see the patterns and dead ends of their past, and a way out." Some of the stories are rueful, others bitter, but all bite, even - perhaps especially - when they are gentle. None are self-pitying, but none shy away from speaking directly to the gross cruelties so often inflicted on their early years or young marriages. Each story, no matter how grim or gritty, shows polish, and the women display a wide array of emotions: unbridled anger, innocence, hope, resigned acceptance. While a few of the stories speak of angels who touched the women's lives, most display open wounds that are continuing to be healed by the cathartic power of words. Writing as an act of self-realization and liberation and, not incidentally, an indictment of the penal system. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb is the editor of Couldn't Keep It To Myself, a previous volume of writing from the writing workshop he runs at the York Correctional Institution. His novels were Oprah's Book Club selections and #1 New York Times bestsellers. Still contributing his time as a volunteer facilitator at York, Lamb is currently at work on his third novel.

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