Many of the authors featured in this Joyce Carol Oates–edited collection are still in prison. Nonetheless, readers will soak up every line, receiving every bit of depth they deserve. Every word gives a face to the faceless and a voice to the voiceless while giving a creative outlet to those who need it most. Prison Noir allows readers unfamiliar with life within the prison system to see those within for what they are: people.
There is an unexpected eloquence in the writings. It is as if each word on each page was meticulously thought out and well planed. “Bardos” by Scott Gutches is a particular stand out. This story deals with the unfairness of death. In “Trap” by Eric Boyd, readers will be thrown for a loop when they read the first officer’s treatment of the main character. Caution, it will turn readers’ stomachs. Still, these writers grab readers’ attention and take them on fantastic journeys.
Each story in this impressive collection will cause readers to respond in different ways, and every story represents a different voice. There is no doubt that readers from all walks of life, especially those less knowledgeable about life in prison, will appreciate Prison Noir.
Hillary Martin is a student at a major Tennessee university. An English major, her interests include writing, reading and spending time with family and friends. She is a member of the Society of Technical Communication, and she is currently working on a few writing projects.
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