In a stunning work of insight and hope, New York Times bestselling author Wally Lamb once again reveals his unmatched talent for finding humanity in the lost and lonely and celebrates the transforming power of the written word.
For several years, Lamb has taught writing to a group of women prisoners at York Correctional Institution in Connecticut. In this unforgettable collection, the women of York describe in their own words how they were imprisoned by abuse, rejection, and their own self-destructive impulses long before they entered the criminal justice system. Yet these are powerful stories of hope and healing, told by writers who have left victimhood behind.
In his moving introduction, Lamb describes the incredible journey of expression and self-awareness the women took through their writing and shares how they challenged him as a teacher and as a fellow author. Couldn't Keep It to Myself is a true testament to the process of finding oneself and working toward a better day.
One truth this book affirms is the capacity for people to change. The writers of Couldn't Keep It to Myself chart their own journeys of growth, navigating the terrain of their internal worlds, their pasts and present prison realities. Who they have become is clear both in self-awareness and what they do with their lives teaching others, advocacy, computer work, construction in prison and out. It is in this change that hope resides; lying next to and rising out of despair, hope permeates the book. Why, in the end, does Lamb want us to care about 10 women in prison? Perhaps because in noticing the humanity of others, we become more human ourselves. — Kathy Boudin