Visiting Life by Bridget Kinsella
Women Doing Time on the Outside

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When a friend who taught creative writing at a maximum-security prison asked Bridget Kinsella to read the work of one of his best students, she readily agreed. As a publishing professional, Kinsella was used to getting manuscripts from all sorts of sources. Who knows? she told herself. Maybe I can help this talented inmate get his work published. She had no idea that her correspondence with a convicted murderer serving life without parole would lead to a relationship that would change her life forever. Why in the world would anyone get involved with a prison inmate?

In this beautifully written, brutally honest memoir, Kinsella shares how she stumbled into a relationship with a lifer and became part of a sorority she never thought she’d join. Over the course of three years, she spends time with and ultimately befriends the wives, girlfriends, and mothers of some inmates at Pelican Bay. On this unexpected journey, she learns of the hurdles, heartbreaks, and hopes they have for their relationships as she experiences a connection with someone who helps heal her own wounds.

As the United States continues to incarcerate convicted criminals for increasingly long periods of time, our prison rolls swell to unprecedented levels—more than two million today—as does the number of women and children whose lives are thrown into limbo and who live for their next “visiting time.” Through the lens of her own unlikely experience, Kinsella examines those impacted by crime and punishment with keen observation, candor, and compassion.

About Bridget Kinsella

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Bridget Kinsella is an editor at Publishers Weekly. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Chicago Tribune and Writer’s Digest, and on NPR and She lives in Northern California.
Published June 12, 2007 by Crown. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Although the subtitle suggests that the subject is women who link up with convicts, the larger story is the author’s own relationship with a convicted murderer.

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Publishers Weekly

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When things go very wrong, fleeing the scene of the disaster is a time-honored response. But in this memoir cum social history, PW 's West Coast editor Kinsel

Mar 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Visiting Life: Women Doing Ti...

Publishers Weekly

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But Rory is also a novelist, philosopher and doorway to a world Kinsella reveals in this book—one populated by the girlfriends, spouses and children of incarcerated men.

Mar 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Visiting Life: Women Doing Ti...

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