cover image Solitary


Albert Woodfox, with Leslie George. Grove, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2908-6

In this devastating, superb memoir, Woodfox reflects on his decades inside the Louisiana prison system. He recounts that, as a “badass” black youth in 1960s New Orleans bouncing in and out of jail, he encountered the Black Panther Party and “a light went on in a room inside me that I hadn’t known existed.” His subsequent efforts to organize protests against the dehumanizing treatment of prisoners in the notorious Angola state penitentiary got him framed for the murder of a white correctional officer in 1972. Woodfox spent the next four decades in solitary confinement, struggling to stay sane by educating himself; helping others; and cultivating deep friendships with two other wrongfully convicted Panthers, Herman Wallace and Robert King. In 2016, he made a no-contest plea and was freed. The book is a stunning indictment of a judicial system “not concerned with innocence or justice,” and a crushing account of the inhumanity of solitary confinement. This breathtaking, brutal, and intelligent book will move and inspire readers. [em](Mar.) [/em]