Couldn't Keep It to Myself

Couldn't Keep It to Myself

Testimonies From Our Imprisoned Sisters

Book - 2003
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What I hope is that people reading this book will bear in mind that we are human beings first, inmates second.
--Bonnie Foreshaw

In a stunning new work of insight and hope, New York Times bestselling author Wally Lamb once again reveals his unmatched talent for finding the humanity in the lost and lonely and celebrates the transforming power of the written word.

For the past several years, Lamb has taught writing to a group of women prisoners at York Correctional Institution. At first mistrustful of Lamb, one another, and the writing process, over time these students let down their guard, picked up their pens, and discovered their voices. 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 stories of hope, humor, and triumph in the face of despair. Having used writing as a tool to unlock their creativity and begin the process of healing, these amazing writers have left victimhood behind.

In his powerful introduction, Lamb describes the incredible journey of expression and self-awareness the women took through their writings and shares how they challenged him as a teacher and as a fellow author. In "Hair Chronicles," Tabatha Rowley tells her life history through her past hairstyles -- outer signals to the world each time she reinvented herself and eventually came to prize her own self-worth. Brenda Medina admits in "Hell, and How I got Here" that she continued to rebel in prison until her parents' abiding love made her realize that her misbehavior was hurting them and herself deeply. In "Faith, Power, and Pants," Bonnie Foreshaw describes how faith has carried her through trials in life and in prison and has allowed her to understand her past actions, to look toward the future, and to believe that she will once again taste home cooking. Couldn't Keep It to Myself is a true testament to the process of finding oneself and working toward a better day.

Publisher: New York : ReganBooks, c2003.
ISBN: 9780060534295
Branch Call Number: 810.8 COU
Characteristics: 350 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Oct 04, 2018

Well worth reading. Reading about how the pattern of abuse can culminate in crime is something everybody should read about and learn to understand. While the stories of abuse are dark, that these women were able to finally give voice to the crimes committed against them and gain insight is inspirational.

Nov 13, 2014

I really enjoyed this collection of short stories by women incarcerated in York Correctional Institution, Connecticut. I'm shifting away from my norm when I usually review each individual short story. These were all so good, I would say the same thing for each of them. I'll be reading I'll Fly Away, the 2nd book to this collection of stories, written by different women in York. This book was published b/c one of the women's instructor's was none other than Wally Lamb of She's Come Undone fame. The women were even sued for the cost of their incarceration by YCI because of the earnings they made from this book. The stories were not about the women's crimes, but about what in their lives caused them to commit their crimes: sexual abuse, physical abuse, drugs and gangs, just to name a few reasons. The writing really was exceptional!

Feb 24, 2014

Incredible book. It is impossible to put this book down, and unimaginable to read about what these women have been through. It really changes your perspective on things. I would recommend this to anyone.

Oct 29, 2013

Couldn't put it down! An amazing collection of memoirs written by women from all different walks of life. These women managed to tear down their own walls and allowed their strength, hope and vulnerability shine through each of their heartbreaking stories that were shared.

Aug 13, 2013

Unexpected gem. Short form memoir writing from incarcerated women who participated in a writing instruction program taught by Wally Lamb.


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