Articles tagged "prison"

Stars for THE SUN DOES SHINE

What would you do if you were sent to death row for a crime you didn’t commit? What would you do if you were finally exonerated and released 30 years later?

This happened to Anthony Ray Hinton, who in 1985, was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. An incompetent defense attorney and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South put Hinton on Death Row at Holman State Prison, until civil rights attorney and bestselling author of JUST MERCY, Bryan Stevenson, helped Hinton win his release in 2015.

Hinton shares his story in THE SUN DOES SHINE: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (with a foreword by Stevenson), an extraordinary testament to the power of hope and love sustained through the darkest times, and ultimately justice. THE SUN DOES SHINE has two starred reviews:

“His memoir…is a troubling, moving, and ultimately exalting journey…. With a huge print run, Hinton’s incredible story and social-justice star Stevenson, who wrote the foreword, will draw major attention.” — Booklist, starred review

“Intense… Hinton’s life is one of inspiration, which he wonderfully relays here in bitingly honest prose.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review readmoreremove

NYTBR’s 10 Best Books of 2017 & Editor’s Picks

HOORAY! Two nonfiction titles made the New York Times Book Review‘s “10 Best Books of 2017” list and five more (plus two honorable mentions) are New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2017!

LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
A former public defender in Washington, Forman has written a masterly account of how a generation of black officials, beginning in the 1970s, wrestled with recurring crises of violence and drug use in the nation’s capital. What started out as an effort to assert the value of black lives turned into an embrace of tough-on-crime policies — with devastating consequences for the very communities those officials had promised to represent. Forman argues that dismantling the American system of mass incarceration will require a new understanding of justice, one that emphasizes accountability instead of vengeance.

PRAIRIE FIRES: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
Fraser’s biography of the author of “Little House on the Prairie” and other beloved books about her childhood during the era of westward migration captures the details of a life — and an improbable, iconic literary career — that has been expertly veiled by fiction. Exhaustively researched and passionately written, this book refreshes and revitalizes our understanding of Western American history, giving space to the stories of Native Americans displaced from the tribal lands by white settlers like the Ingalls family as well as to the travails of homesteaders, farmers and everyone else who rushed to the West to extract its often elusive riches. Ending with a savvy analysis of the 20th-century turn toward right-wing politics taken by Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, Fraser offers a remarkably wide-angle view of how national myths are shaped.

Dwight Garner

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Friday Reads: Biographies

Our #FridayReads are a couple of fascinating biographies:

JACK AND NORMAN: A State-Raised Convict and the Legacy of Norman Mailer’s “The Executioner’s Song” by Jerome Loving
The tragic behind-the-scenes story of Norman Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, THE EXECUTIONER’S SONG, one of the most sensational literary events of the 20th century. “Loving’s gripping book offers a page-turning case study of the disturbing character of the American prison system and the fascinating compulsion that can drive writers to seek literary celebrity.” — Publishers Weekly

NO BARRIERS: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon by Erik Weihenmayer & Buddy Levy, with a foreword by Bob Woodruff
Bestselling author Erik Weihenmayer—the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth—tells the epic story of his latest adventures, including solo kayaking the Colorado River. “More than a story about a blind man converting the improbable to the possible, this volume provides a powerful testament to the human spirit, concluding with a challenge to readers to take the Pledge of No Barriers. Guaranteed to inspire.” — Booklist

Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib. Happy weekend!

Stars for MANDELA: My Prisoner, My Friend

This Friday, we’re reading Christo Brand’s riveting biography: MANDELA: My Prisoner, My Friend.

Afrikaner Brand was a prison guard in the maximum security facility on remote Robben Island, given charge of the country’s most infamous inmate: Nelson Mandela. Over 12 years, Brand became Mandela’s confidant and accomplice, celebrating his prisoner’s triumphs and suffering through his setbacks, forming a bond that would endure throughout Mandela’s life.

Praise is glowing, starting with two starred reviews:

“[Brand] paints a vivid picture of prison life in South Africa at the time, with its racial discrimination—no bread was given to black prisoners—and the guards’ own isolation from news of the outside world. The central focus of this extraordinary book, however, is a remarkable friendship that bridged age, race, and politics, as Mandela went from prisoner to secret negotiator, and eventually became a revered president.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review & 8/25/14 Pick of the Week

“[Brand] quotes Mandela’s LONG WALK TO FREEDOM that the most important person in any prisoner’s life is not the minister of justice or the prison superintendent but the warder in the prisoner’s section, and many readers of that iconic autobiography will want this for the in-depth perspective and intimate honesty of another insider’s view, then and now.” Booklist, starred review

“This is really a tale of two men and their shared humanity in an inhuman place. A worthy addition to the canon of Mandela literature that details a relationship that many knew about but few truly understood.” — Kirkus Reviews

Expect more major media coverage, including Vanity Fair Hot Type (December issue) closer to publication.

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