Shakespeare Saved My Life by Laura Bates
Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard

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“. . . the book is neither Dr. Bates’ memoir nor a disquisition on the transformative power of Shakespearean language and imagery; it actually centers on murderer and prisoner Larry Newton’s story.”
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

"A powerful testament to how Shakespeare continues to speak to contemporary readers in all sorts of circumstances."—Booklist

While He Was Breaking Out of Prison, She Was Trying to Break In.

Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before — supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars.

Thus begins the most unlikely of friendships, one bonded by Shakespeare and lasting years—a friendship that, in the end, would save more than one life.

"The work that Laura Bates has been doing for years with prison inmates and Shakespeare is of extraordinary importance. It has a kind of beauty and symmetry all its own."—David Bevington, Shakespeare scholar, University of Chicago

"An eye-opening study reiterating the perennial power of books, self-discipline, and the Bard of Avon."—Kirkus

 

About Laura Bates

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DR. LAURA BATES is an English professor at Indiana State University, where she has taught courses on Shakespeare for the past 15 years to students on campus and in prison. She has a PhD from the University of Chicago with a focus on Shakespeare studies. Her work has been featured in national media, including MSNBC's Lock Up. She lives in Indiana.
 
Published April 2, 2013 by Sourcebooks. 305 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Crime, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Rhonda Sturtz on Apr 01 2013

“. . . the book is neither Dr. Bates’ memoir nor a disquisition on the transformative power of Shakespearean language and imagery; it actually centers on murderer and prisoner Larry Newton’s story.”

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