Book Details

An Unforgettable Immersion into Prison Life

Until you’re there, life behind bars is unimaginable. But if you’re there…you need hope, strength, and community to survive. In this brilliant, searing novel created from his own experiences in prison, Charles Williams has illuminated stories of his life in a holding facility. Every anecdote, every scene was burned into his memory until he could scribble down words on scraps of paper with blunted pencils. With painstaking care, he introduces you to dozens of characters, immortalizing their truth, their tragedy, their brutality, their transcendence. While many of the inmates deserve to be there, a significant minority don’t, or are simply working their way through the criminal justice system. But all of them are subjected to the lurid underworld of prison life, with its surprising alliances, unthinkable betrayals, and continual risks. But perhaps the most shocking aspect of this searing book is its inescapable reminder that people are the same no matter where they are: they need and seek friendship, and they are capable of embracing and expressing the best of who they are, even in degrading circumstances that seem intolerable. Whether you’re in the prison system or know nothing about it, this book is for you: an eye-opening revelation, a consolation in the worst of times, and a message of hope for those who are walking this path: you can survive and knit your life back together on the other side.