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Shakespeare Saved My Life : Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard
by Laura Bates


Overview -

"Shakespeare Saved My Life touches on the search for meaning in life, the struggles that complicate the path to triumph and the salvation that can be found in literature's great works ... An inspiring account. "-- Shelf Awareness

A female professor, a super maximum security prisoner, and how Shakespeare saved them both

Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all.  Read more...


 
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More About Shakespeare Saved My Life by Laura Bates
 
 
 
Overview

"Shakespeare Saved My Life touches on the search for meaning in life, the struggles that complicate the path to triumph and the salvation that can be found in literature's great works ... An inspiring account."--Shelf Awareness

A female professor, a super maximum security prisoner, and how Shakespeare saved them both

Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before -- supermax solitary confinement.

In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars.

What reviewers are saying about Shakespeare Saved My Life

"You don't have to be a William Shakespeare fan, a prisoner, or a prison reformer to appreciate this uplifting book. "Shakespeare Saved My Life" also reveals many important truths ... about the meaning of empathy in our dealings with others"--Finger Lake Times

"Shakespeare Saved My Life touches on the search for meaning in life, the struggles that complicate the path to triumph and the salvation that can be found in literature's great works ... An inspiring account."--Shelf Awareness

"Opening the mind's prison proves enormously gratifying, not to mention effective ... brave, groundbreaking work"--Publishers Weekly

"An eye-opening study reiterating the perennial power of books, self-discipline, and the Bard of Avon."--Kirkus

"A powerful testament to how Shakespeare continues to speak to contemporary readers in all sorts of circumstances."--Booklist


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781402273148
  • ISBN-10: 1402273142
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publish Date: April 2013
  • Page Count: 291
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Criminals & Outlaws

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-04-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

Indiana State literature professor Bates details her remarkable work teaching Shakespeare to inmates, an experience that proved momentous for both teacher and students. Invoking lessons from previous volunteer work at prisons in her native Chicago, Bates transported Shakespeare into solitary-confinement lock-up (Secured Housing Unit, aka "supermax") at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, Indiana, and there met Larry Newton, her most engaged student and focus of this work. A convicted killer incarcerated since he was a juvenile—often in solitary confinement or on death row—Newton, despite his grade-school education, takes naturally to Shakespeare; starting with Richard II, he displays startling moments of empathy with the characters and latches on to many parallels of verisimilitude. Each week, toiling on their knees over homework assignments Bates passes through the "cuff port", forced to communicate through the bunker-like doors, chosen inmates in supermax discuss and dissect themes of revenge, criminality, honor, and love—from Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello, among others. Opening the mind's prison proves enormously gratifying, not to mention effective, for Bates as she offers the prisoners an alternative to frustrated violence. Her brave, groundbreaking work continues to be closely watched and modeled. (Apr.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews