Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Shakespeare Saved My Life

Even though this book was really disorganized and jumped around, I really thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn't so much a memoir, as much as it was a story about a maximum security inmate whose life changed by attending a Shakespeare program in prison. Laura Bates, a college professor, started going to a maximum security facility in Indiana and teaching Shakespeare to inmates in solitary. She discovered that they responded really well to reading and analyzing the Bards work. One inmate in particular, Larry Newton, provided insight and analysis that was almost better than top scholars in the field. With no access to spark notes, foot notes, or scholarly opinions, he started formulating his own. He had nothing but time on his hands and really dug deep into the meanings behind everything, and this is from a killer who never completed middle school. Through her work with the inmates and their eagerness and excitement to learn, both parties end up changing for the better. A feel good read that makes you think twice about felons capacity for change.

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