Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison

Shaka Senghor. Convergent, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-1-1019-0729-0
In this inspiring book that gives hope for those who believe in the redemption of the incarcerated, Senghor, having served a lengthy sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, proves to be the exception to the rule that the majority of ex-cons return to prison. His story is not the usual ghetto tale, the author being from a middle-class neighborhood on Detroit’s East Side, an honor roll student with physician dreams, until his parents bitterly part and constant maternal beatings force him into the streets. As an emotionally troubled teen, he teams with major crack dealers, smoking the drug, eventually finding himself in several Michigan lock-ups. “Being in prison and stripped of your freedom is painful and degrading and each day is a fight to maintain your sanity,” Senghor writes. Energized by a letter from his young son and access to a large prison library, he questions his identity, purpose, and faith, becoming a writer and mentor to inmates. It is these piercing vignettes in this remarkable book that demonstrates Senghor’s resilience and determination to reclaim his life as a citizen, author, motivational speaker, and a Fellow at the MIT Media Lab and Kellogg Foundation. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/25/2016
Release date: 03/08/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-101-90731-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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