- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 27, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250124719
- ISBN-13: 978-1250124715
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 737 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection) Hardcover – March 27, 2018
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"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb
"This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book." ―Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post Pre-order today
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“Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposing a racist system in South Africa. Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row because a racist system still exists in America. Both emerged from their incarceration with a profound capacity to forgive. They are stunning examples of how the most horrendous cruelty can lead to the most transcendent compassion. The Sun Does Shine is both a cautionary tale for all who think that a great nation can easily forget its past and inspiring proof of the inability to condemn a man's capacity for hope, love, and joy. An amazing and heartwarming story, it restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity.” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“No one I have represented has inspired me more than Anthony Ray Hinton and I believe his compelling and unique story will similarly inspire our nation and readers all over the world.” - Bryan Stevenson, New York Times Bestselling Author, Just Mercy
“If there is ever a story that needs to be told, it is this one. Anthony Ray Hinton is extraordinary, an example to us all of the power of the human spirit to rise above complete injustice. He is using his experience as a way to turn the broken criminal justice system upside down. He is a brilliant storyteller, and his book will make people laugh, cry, and change their own lives for the better. It will also inspire people to never accept the unacceptable, like the death penalty. The Sun Does Shine will be a book that people all around the world will never forget.” - Richard Branson
"I've met Anthony Ray Hinton, and he's an extraordinary man. He stands out among exonerees (and I know hundreds of them) for his dignity and gentle soul encased in his massive frame. His story is important and compelling. Bryan Stevenson, a national treasure and central character in this story, fought tirelessly for over fifteen years and won a rare and landmark case in the United States Supreme Court. The Sun Does Shine is the gripping and inspirational story that the public has been waiting for." - Barry Scheck, Attorney, Director of the Innocence Project
“[The Sun Does Shine], collaboratively written with Hardin, is a troubling, moving, and ultimately exalting journey through the decades Hinton lived under the threat of death while an unjust system that refused to acknowledge mistakes failed him repeatedly.” - Booklist, starred review
“A memoir of spectacular grace...as moving and inspiring as memoirs get.” - Garden & Gun
“An urgent, emotional memoir from one of the longest-serving condemned death row inmates to be found innocent in America. ... A heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about truth, justice, and the need for criminal justice reform.” – Kirkus, starred review
“In this intense memoir, [Anthony Ray] Hinton recounts his three-decade nightmare: awaiting execution for crimes he didn’t commit. … Hinton’s life is one of inspiration, which he wonderfully relays here in bitingly honest prose.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A testament to the power of faith and the strength of hope, The Sun Does Shine is an unforgettable and timely read that illuminates the long overdue need for criminal justice reform in America." - Bustle
"This powerful memoir is testament to a man who survived against all odds and showed how powerful the human spirit can be." - The Malestrom
"Hinton’s ability to speak about the injustices he faces with such poise and composure is his greatest gift."
- The Harvard Crimson
"A must for anyone involved in criminal justice. Suggested reading for anyone interested in learning more about death row and its horrors." - Library Journal, starred review
“The Sun Does Shine could be the most impressive book you’ll lay eyes on." - Houston Style Magazine
"Illuminating and emotionally powerful, simple and complex, and destined to become a classic in American prison literature." - The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
About the Author
ANTHONY RAY HINTON spent nearly thirty years on death row for crimes he didn't commit. Released in April 2015, Hinton now speaks widely on prison reform and the power of faith and forgiveness. He lives in Alabama. Oprah Winfrey has chosen his book as her summer 2018 Book Club Pick.
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If there are books and there are novels, this is a story. It’s a powerful story full of loss, love, pain, honesty, hope, and, ultimately, survival. There is, however, no redemption here. There was no reason to ever believe that Anthony Ray Hinton was guilty of these crimes. None. But that’s not what the legal system is all about. And ultimately it is only the system that can be redeemed. The rest is just human tragedy.
I have been a peripheral witness to the legal system for a long time. And I have known many who are intimately involved in the service of justice who can say little more in defense of the system than, “It’s the best of the alternatives.” That is seldom an acceptable standard for much of anything, but it should never be an acceptable standard when we are consciously and deliberately executing people.
The problems are not simple. Thugs walk free every day for the same reasons that people like Anthony Ray are wrongly sent to death row. Truth is seldom binary. Scientific discovery is a function of probabilities, not absolutes. Facts always exist in context and must be evaluated within that context. And that context is never as simple or as one-dimensional as it seems—or we would like it to be.
The system is over-worked, the ‘jury of peers’ that may have existed in an 18th Century New England farm town is an illusion today, and our politics and our legal system have been corrupted by money at a time when the divide between rich and poor is rapidly expanding.
This is a story with elements of legal injustice, racism, and the plight of the poor. But none of these exist in isolation or is as personal, in the end, as we make them out to be. All of these things do exist at a personal level. The cause and effect, however, are structural. And that’s where both the injustice starts and where it must be confronted.
The author claims that one in ten prisoners sitting on death row today is innocent. If you doubt that I encourage you to go to your local courthouse today and observe a trial in process. You will find a lot of hard-working people; some good and some bad. But you will not find a search for truth. You will find an urgent commitment to justice as defined by the institution itself.
In the end, this is Anthony Ray Hinton’s story. And it is beautifully and simply told by Anthony Ray and Lara Love Hardin. It is, however, a story about us. We are the context. Anthony Ray and the people around him simply shine a light inside the institution that we live within. But it’s up to us to open our eyes and see. “The sun does shine.” But you have to open your eyes to see it. And that, ultimately, is the message of this book.
This is more than a must read. If this book does not become a best seller, shame on us; things are worse than I feared. It’s that important.
That Hinson was able not only to survive 30 years feet from a death chamber, but also thrive and transform many of the men he met during his incarceration speaks to this man’s great good soul and tenacity. He fights not only for his innocence, but also for the reality that he and his peers are people: men of intellect, emotion, vice, and virtue. He unpacks and reframes the narrative of hate that dominates so many of the lives that end up on The Row. He refuses to judge his fellow inmates, and even his guards. His story speaks to multiple narratives: the experiences of young black men in the post-integration era South, the crippling legacies of racial apartheid and hate, the ways in which even the most open and powerful justice system in the world has been corrupted and repurposed for agendas that have nothing to do with justice. There are subtler stories, too - the difference between the southern black experience in 1985 vs 2015, the ways in which education and loved experience has grown flimsier and more brittle in many ways over the last 40 years, the shifting demographics of death row.
There’s anger and injustice in this book, but hilarity and love and hope, too. Despite spending much of his life in a 5x7 cell, Hinson offers his readers both an unfamiliar story and a thoroughly human one. Everyone should read this book. This is America writ small in 2018: a place of shame, hate, grace, complexity - and legacies that have yet to be decided.