Story Within Us Women Prisoners Reflect on Reading
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Description: The Story Within Us: Women Prisoners Reflect on Readingfeatures in-depth, oral interviews with eleven incarcerated women, each of whom offers a narrative of her life and her reading experiences within prison walls. The women share powerful stories about their complex and diverse efforts to negotiate difficult relationships, exercise agency in restrictive circumstances, and find meaning and beauty in the midst of pain. Their shared emphases on abuse, poverty, addiction, and mental illness illuminate the pathways that lead many women to prison and suggest possibilities for addressing the profound social problems that fuel crime. Framing the narratives within an analytic introduction and reflective afterword, Megan Sweeney highlights the crucial intellectual work that the incarcerated women perform despite myriad restrictions on reading and education in U.S. prisons. These women use the limited reading materials available to them as sources of guidance and support and as tools for self-reflection and self-education. Through their creative engagements with books, the women learn to reframe their own life stories, situate their experiences in relation to broader social patterns, deepen their understanding of others, experiment with new ways of being, and maintain a sense of connection with their fellow citizens on both sides of the prison fence.
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List price: $27.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 9/11/2012
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
|Introduction: "All us women have a story within us"|
|Life Narrative: "Society is coming to prison"|
|Reading Narrative: "I have discovered a love for the law"|
|Life Narrative: "There's a time to be silent, and there's a time not to"|
|Reading Narrative: "If you can't relate to it, then read about it"|
|Life Narrative: "It was a bad road that I was on"|
|Reading Narrative: "If I'm going through a struggle, I know that's the book to go find"|
|Life Narrative: "I can't even imagine my day without a mall"|
|Reading Narrative: "Who is this writing books that knows the things I know?!"|
|Life Narrative: "I've been overcoming all my life"|
|Reading Narrative: "Everybody don't end up with a prince"|
|Life Narrative: "They're trying to brainwash me and rebuild me"|
|Reading Narrative: "From her life story to mine is not that much difference"|
|Life Narrative: "I've been like a ball that someone threw and I've been bouncing around ever since"|
|Reading Narrative: "The books I've read are like my friends"|
|Life Narrative: "I refuse to be another statistic"|
|Reading Narrative: "I wanted his strength to jump out of the pages into my life!"|
|Life Narrative: "That's a chapter that's closed"|
|Reading Narrative: "What fueled this fire for the fire to come all the way over to here?"|
|Life Narrative: "Society, it's a boys' club still"|
|Reading Narrative: "I need to know what's gonna happen next!"|
|Life Narrative: "That's a soul that you're stepping on"|
|Reading Narrative: "Freedom for me was an evolution, not a revolution"|
|Afterword: True Stories about Prison|
|Appendix: Study-Related Materials|