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I'll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison Paperback – October 21, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Lamb . . . continues to offer readers an intimate look at women struggling to maintain their humanity.” (Booklist)

“Inspiring and raw…They write from the heart…each vignette is more compelling than the one before it.” (Library Journal)

“Accomplished…Each story, no matter how grim or gritty, shows polish.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Wally Lamb is the author of four previous novels, including the New York Times and national bestseller The Hour I First Believed and Wishin' and Hopin', a bestselling novella. His first two works of fiction, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were both number-one New York Times bestsellers and Oprah's Book Club selections. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine. The Lambs are the parents of three sons.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; unknown edition (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061626392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061626395
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, and its partner "Couldn't Keep It To Myself" by the same author, is at times tough and uplifting. These are essays that women have worked on in a writing class inside the prison. They are their personal stories, which usually reveal so much about their circumstances and decisions that led them to incarceration.

Some of it is rough to read, such as troubled family lives and things happening to them that we don't like to think about. You get a chance to see the real consequences of poor treatment and bad circumstances. It's must-see information so we can all be more empathetic and alert when it comes to how we treat loved ones, watch over our neighborhood, and care for the society at large.

But beyond the painful histories, these essays reveal how these women are searching inside themselves to identify and correct troublesome thoughts and habits, and rehabilitating themselves in the process. In this respect it is very inspiring and uplifting. Most of us go through our days without thinking much about the deep things. In these essays we can follow the path of discovery with these women, some further along than others, and the progress they have made even in spite of their handicapped backgrounds and current incarceration. It can't help but motivate the reader to higher aspirations with his own circumstances.

I could recommend these two books to anyone who is interested in: child care, teaching, psychology, dealing with challenges, religion, or caring about our fellow man.

As an aside, I bought these books because I responded to an ad in our local paper looking for "weekend puppy-raisers". This prison has a program of training inmates to raise puppys for future life as an assistance dog to a handicapped person.
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Format: Hardcover
Wally Lamb is one of those writers that readers wish would write more. But seeing how he spends his time, readers can understand why he isn't pounding away at a keyboard relentlessly. Instead, he is inspiring incarcerated women to reach within themselves, bring forth what they know, and express themselves creatively. The pieces in this second collection are poignant given the circucumstances in which they were written, but hopeful in that they give voice to these neglected women, giving them expression. It is uncertain whether any of them could write as effectively about something outside of their experience or out of their imagination; however, that is not the point. The fact that they are able to be creative with what they do know is enough.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent anthology of writing by women in prison who took part in Wally Lamb's writingn classes. Several of the most touching pieces are by young women serving long sentences for crimes committed at very young ages. Great reading for anyone interested in social justice issues.
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Format: Paperback
There is an inmate that has written her story in this book which makes her out to be the victim and my brother to be a monster. The author allowed this inmate to write an untrue story in his book without confirming the facts at all. Mr. Lamb you have no idea how much this inmates short story took a healing wound and reopened it to be a gaping whole again. She is the monster and my brother was the victim. She also acted as judge, jury and executioner the day she drove knife into his chest...you should've checked the facts of the case before you allowed her to manipulate the truth for book sales....it's disgusting and degrading to every victim that has suffered a loss that you allowed to be a part of this book
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Format: Paperback
It is generally true that women tend to be incarcerated for different types of crimes than men, and have different experiences in prison. And generally, the stories in this compilation are interesting for that reason. However, as another reviewer noted, there is little, if any, empathy expressed for their victims. I stopped reading after "My Three Fates" by Chastity West. She slit the throat of her rival's child, nearly beheading him, and the courts have consistently upheld her conviction and life sentence. But her story was all about the pain she felt during her trial and her surprise when the jury convicted her - imagine what that poor child went through as he died. I care more about that than I do Ms. West's narcissistic musings. It would have behooved Mr. Lamb to choose his stories with more regard.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came across Wally Lamb's first book written by the women incarcerated at York Prison when I was a new volunteer at Greenhaven Correctional Facility in Dutchess County, NY. Although I was working on an individual basis with the men there, Lamb's book motivated me to take a new path with my students at Greenhaven. He inspired me to help the men write their own "stories" about their lives. I also own Lamb's second book, I'LL FLY AWAY and have read portions of it to my classes. One of my students encouraged me to write a personal letter to one of the women in the book. She is the author of "A Gift". For the last year now, we have been corresponding and I have visited her 4 times. She has one of the longest sentences at York: 50 years with no chance of parole. I think what Lamb has accomplished in publishing these two remarkable books is to educate people like us about women like those at York. They have made some poor choices but they are also victims themselves--in many cases of horrific abuse in all its forms. I am proud to own these books and Lamb mailed me an autographed copy of the second book~encouraging me to continue my work at Greenhaven.
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