A Life Inside: A Prisoner's Notebook
Nineteen years ago, Erwin James was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was in his twenties. Over the past three years, he has written powerfully about prison life for the Guardian.
James recalls the moment the verdict was announced and his subsequent arrival in prison as a lifer. He writes with honesty and great lucidity about learning the who, what, why and when of the prison world; about the relationships that develop between men forced into long years of co-existence; and about how in the depths of the system he discovered self-worth through education and a talent for writing.
A Life Inside is the story of a journey from vicious youth to reformed middle age. It does not glorify crime, nor does it seek to make excuses for its author's past. But James's account of his incarcerated life is a dramatic human story that no reader will readily forget.