I'll Fly Away
Further Testimonies From the Women of York PrisonLarge Print - 2007
In 2003 Wally Lamb--the author of two of the most beloved novels of our time, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True--published Couldn't Keep It to Myself, a collection of essays by the students in his writing workshop at the maximum-security York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only prison for women. Writing, Lamb discovered, was a way for these women to confront painful memories, face their fears and their failures, and begin to imagine better lives. The New York Times described the book as "Gut-tearing tales . . . the unvarnished truth." The Los Angeles Times said of it, "Lying next to and rising out of despair, hope permeates this book."
Now Lamb returns with I'll Fly Away, a new volume of intimate, searching pieces from the York workshop. Here, twenty women--eighteen inmates and two of Lamb's cofacilitators--share the experiences that shaped them from childhood and that haunt and inspire them to this day. These portraits, vignettes, and stories depict with soul-baring honesty how and why women land in prison--and what happens once they get there. The stories are as varied as the individuals who wrote them, but each testifies to the same core truth: the universal value of knowing oneself and changing one's life through the power of the written word.