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I'll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,801 ratings  ·  142 reviews
For several years, Wally Lamb, the author of two of the most beloved novels of our time, has run a writing workshop at the York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only maximum-security prison for women. Writing, Lamb discovered, was a way for these women to face their fears and failures and begin to imagine better lives. Couldn't Keep It to Myself, a collection of the ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Harper Perennial (first published September 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah
Several years ago, I read "Couldn't Keep It To Myself", the first collection of stories from Wally Lamb and the women of York Correctional Institution. I absolutely loved the book and my copy quickly became tattered as friend after friend read the book and shared my sense of awe. When I heard that a second compilation was being released, I couldn't wait to read it.

Like its predecessor, this book is a collection of stories written by a group of women who are part of a prison writing workshop led
...more
Tamsen
I would have given this three stars, if I had realized that a bio about each of the authors was at the very end.

My main gripe with this collection (I gave "Couldn't Keep It to Myself" 5 stars - just for your reference) was the fact that the stories blurred together. I loved in CKITM that prior to each short story, there was a picture of the inmate, with, I believe, their name and reason for being incarcerated.

In this collection, I went from short story to short story - they blurred in their sa
...more
Terry
Essentially seems like a sequel to Couldn't Keep It to Myself; in fact I sort of felt like I was coming into a party already in progress, where the cliques have already formed and everyone already knows everyone else. I don't really mean that in a snarky way; but I do wish I had read Couldn't Keep It to Myself as this book seems aimed at people who have read that first. At the risk of sounding really heartless, I don't really know what the point of this book is, especially for readers who are un ...more
Meghan
I'll fly away is something I've secretly said to myself, throughout my life. Also I've read Piper's book and watched "Orange is the New Black", so those are my determining factors when I picked up this book. I wondered about my friends in jail, and how I managed to escape the Law...

Wally Lamb is not just an editor, he teaches the women in NY prison how to write. I was really impressed to read about his contributions! These women worked hard, it shows when you read what they wrote. I read throug
...more
Esther Bradley-detally
I value Wally Lamb as a writer, but also he has contributed so much to women in the prison system, and I'm sure received much satisfaction. I teach homeless women and women in transition writing. I am drawn to the anonymous amongst us as they reveal a true nobility.

I'll Fly Way, further testimonies from the Women of York Prison fits into that category. I write to someone in Chowchilla, and do things in a small way to help her. She was battered, but is not under that status; lawyers are working o
...more
Katie
I really liked this book--I feel like if you kill your abusive husband after he molests your grandchild you shouldn't get a 25 year sentence.
Kim
Powerful vignettes from women in prison about glimpses of time in childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and prison. It changed some of my views and banished stereotypes.
Jess
I really enjoyed this book! Although I wish I had read the first novel of stories from the women that Lamb worked with first, I still had a great time reading this one.

I'll Fly Away is a collection of vignettes and stories from female inmates. They touch on a variety of topics from childhood and memories to life in prison. It gave humanity back to the residents of the jail, something that incarceration tends to take away.

When I was a student in college, I was blessed to take a class within a jai
...more
Jennifer
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories by the women of York Prison. Wally Lamb, author of She's come Undone and I know this much is true is one of my favourite American fiction authors. He decided to work with the women of York Prison to help them deal with the reality of incarceration and to somewhat provide an outlet for their circumstances. The short stories are very true and heartbreaking and full of passion. It's hard to believe that these women have not been writing for years. T ...more
Stacy Cook
I really enjoyed this second book of testimonies from the women of York CI. Many talked of what brought them to jail; their crimes, some talked of their often tragic upbringings and others spoke of jail life itself. The stories were all engaging.
Two downsides to me. One is minor and is just a personal preference. I am not a fan of poetry. (Sorry all you poetry lovers out there.) There was a fair amount of it in this book that was not found in the first book and because I don't enjoy it I can'
...more
Amber
This may be too graphic for some. Parts of it were for me. The women at York Correctional Facility write about their lives, their crimes, and life in prison. The stories are all their own, and some are very raw. I didn't feel a real flow to how the essays were put in order, and some of them just felt like I didn't have enough information about the author to know what was happening or who was writing it--some pieces were written by other instructors, which confused me. But one essay in particular ...more
Theresa Perfetto
A compilation of short true stories from women in prison. It was ok. Felt like Mr. Lamb was helping these women learn to write their pain down while teaching them to write and published it.
Connie Hess
I have enjoyed all of Wally Lamb's fiction. His first effort in publishing incarcerated women's stories in Couldn't Keep it to Myself was extremely moving. His further efforts to continue teaching, after being banned and having to deal with political roadblocks is to be applauded. I'll Fly Away is a continuation of work by his York Correctional students and it gives one hope they will have a better sense of themselves as worthy individuals and have a future whether they are released in their lif ...more
Valerie Doherty
A weary looking male traveler scanned the room in a Denver airport restaurant, looking for a vacant seat. His right shoulder screamed for mercy under the weight of an overstuffed carry-on bag. He collapsed on a counter stool with a relieved sigh.

"Your shoulder appears to be headed for potential trouble with that bag," I said.

" I should know better than to carry all the weight. I'm an orthopedic surgeon."

"Heal thyself, doctor."

He shrugged and smiled as he surveyed the room. The conversation
...more
Susan
While I love the Wally Lamb novels I've read, this book is in a whole different ballpark. It is a collection of writings of women incarcerated or facilitating in a Connecticut prison.

Of course, some of the stories are better written than others. Some are very touching, and I feel for the people. Do I believe everything? Well, I can't say that I definitely believe all of it. Felons are not known for complete truthfulness, so while I took most stories at face value, there were some that caused me
...more
Louise
From back cover:

"In 2003, Wally Lamb-the author of two of the most beloved novels of our time, 'She's Come Undone' and 'I Know This Much Is True' - published 'Couldn't Keep It To Myself', a collection of essays by the students in his writing workshop at the maximum security York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only prison for women. Writing, Lamb discovered, was a way for these women to confront painful memories, face their fears and their failures, and begin to imagine better lives. The
...more
Beverly
Wally Lamb has run a writing workshop at the York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only maximum-security prison for women. Writing was a way for these women to face their fears and failures and begin to imagine better lives. I'll Fly Away is a intimate pieces from the York workshop. The one main truth is that a life can be altered through self-awareness and the power of the written word. Touching and great follow-up on the inmates.
J
(FROM JACKET)In 2003 Wally Lamb-the author of two of the most beloved novels of our time, "She's Come Undone" and "I Know This Much Is True"-published "Couldn't Keep It to Myself", a collection of essays by the students in his writing workshop at the maximum-security York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only prison for women. Writing, Lamb discovered, was a way for these women to confront painful memories, face their fears and their failures, and begin to imagine better lives. The New Yo ...more
Ari
I loved Couldn't Keep It To Myself and I love the mission of rehabilitation and self expression that founds this set of books; however, I'll Fly Away fell a little flat for me. That being said, it was still powerful, empowering, and important. My biggest critique, though, was the formatting. Couldn't Keep It To Myself was set up so there were photographs with quick blurbs of who the woman was before heading into her narrative. While I'll Fly Away may be making a point of it not mattering what cr ...more
Barb
I think that Wally Lamb is making a great contribution to our society by dedicating himself to working with the women in prison on their writing skills and I think that the women in the prision have amazing courage and resilience for commiting themselves to writing their stories. The stories are powerful, entertaining and well written. I admire them very much.
Robin Groothuis
5 stars. Kudos to all the facilitators and participants of the writing program at York CI for persevering and giving these women a voice and something resembling hope. Prisons are failing in the US and women have even fewer tools for survival of injustice and violence. I'm finding myself thinking how easily, at one time, I could have been one of them. Now I'm thinking, "how can I change this broken system?" READ THIS BOOK!
Cindy
This was a collection of short stories and poems based written by and based on the lives of a writing group of women prisoners of York Prison, a group founded and mentored by Wally Lamb. Unfortunately, not until I got to the end of the book did I find the short biographical sketches of the women...that would be better placed at the beginning so the reader could connect the story to the woman's life. There was, however, a photo of most of the women on the back cover so I referred to that. Some, m ...more
Lorien Appman
OK. It is a collection of essays. Some leave you wanting more. Most don't. As Lamb mentions in the forward, write what you need to and let the audience that needs it, find it. As much as I wanted to be, I just wasn't the right audience.
Kate
Much like "Couldn't Keep It To Myself," this book really sheds light on the harsh life that prisoners face, both before and after incarceration. Most of these women come from backgrounds involving abuse, molestation, and poverty. In fact, in one section, all of the essays are about dolls, both real (i.e. Cabbage Patch) and figurative (the women themselves to the men in their lives). Don't read that section before bed.

That being said, there are also stories about stories of love and friendship, a
...more
Laurie
I didn't like this one quite as much as the first book published by Wally Lamb and the women of York Prison, but only slightly less. I'll write more when my keyboard is working!
Renee
Wally Lamb has run a writing workshop at the York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only maximum-security prison for women for many years and ’I’ll Fly Away” is a follow up to his first book “Couldn’t keep it to myself”.

When I read Couldn't Keep It to Myself, (a collection of inmates essays), I was thoroughly moved by the tragedies these woman lived through and the inner strength it took to put their stories into words. “I’ll Fly Away” felt like a watered-down version of these stories. If
...more
Peter Dyer
great stories from women in prison and how they got there. when you consider who is writing these stories they really are well written.
Amy
Very moving stories from women in prison. I very much enjoyed their perspective and depth of knowledge.
Emily
While I loved Couldn't Keep It to Myself, the first collection of essays by the women of York Prison, this book wasn't able to strike the same chord with me. The first collection was deeply moving and provided a window into prison life, often focusing on the tragic events and circumstances that shaped these incarcerated women's lives. While still a good read, nothing in this book was nearly as emotionally stirring, poignant, or memorable as the essays in the first collection. I also wish they ha ...more
Jessica Conant
Another great anthology of wonderfully written tragic stories from the women of York CI
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Wally Lamb is the author of She's Come Undone, The Hour I First Believed, and I Know This Much Is True. Two were featured as selections of Oprah's Book Club. Lamb is the recipient of the Connecticut Center for the Book's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Connecticut Bar Association's Distinguished Public Service Award, the Connecticut Governor's Art Award, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers ...more
More about Wally Lamb...
I Know This Much Is True She's Come Undone The Hour I First Believed We Are Water Wishin' and Hopin'

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“A fiction writer weaves a fabric of lies in hopes of revealing deeper human truths.” 5 likes
“Don’t write stories for teenagers or any other group,” she advised. “Write them for yourself and let the audience that needs them find them.” 0 likes
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