For several years, Wally Lamb, the author of two of the most beloved novels of our time, has run a writing workshop at the York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only maximum-security prison for women. Writing, Lamb discovered, was a way for these women to face their fears and failures and begin to imagine better lives. Couldn't Keep It to Myself, a collection of their essays, was published in 2003 to great critical acclaim. With I'll Fly Away, Lamb offers readers a new volume of intimate pieces from the York workshop. Startling, heartbreaking, and inspiring, these stories are as varied as the individuals who wrote them, but each illuminates an important core truth: that a life can be altered through self-awareness and the power of the written word.
Novelist Lamb's (I Know This Much Is True) second collection of writing by the students in his writing workshop at the maximum-security York Correctional Institution in Connecticut, after Couldn't Keep It to Myself(2003), also focuses on the inspiring and raw emotions of women sharing the good and bad memories that shaped them. The 20 women whose work is featured here-18 inmates and two of Lamb's cofacilitators-show that writing is not just a way of capturing their most private thoughts and gripping emotions (e.g., hope, despair, courage), but also a powerful tool to foster hope and healing. They write from the heart in works ranging from poems to essays to short stories; each vignette is more compelling than the one before it. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.