Book Review: 'Shakespeare Saved My Life'

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Book Review: 'Shakespeare Saved My Life'

Shakespeare Saved My LifeWhen my colleague and I first saw this book, we were both really interested in reading it. But it was on hold for someone else so we were just going to have to wait!

In Linda Bates's memoir, Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard, we find Shakespeare put to the test in the most unlikely of locations -- solitary confinement in a supermax prison in the Midwest. This book tells the story of the friendship that Dr. Bates formed with one of the prisoners, Larry Newton.

Bates, a professor seeking research fodder, originally pursued this project after volunteering at a Cook County jail. Bates chose to work with this distinct population of prisoners because she believes in the value of education. I love the premise of this book because I, too, believe in the value of education, the resilience of the human spirit and because it illustrates the power of a good book to change lives.

If you enjoy this book, you might also be interested in Wally Lamb’s Couldn’t Keep it to Myself: Wally Lamb and the Women of the York Correctional Institution and I’ll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison. Everyone has a story to tell. 
-- Posted by M. MacCall