Doing Time in American Prisons: A Study of Modern Novels

Synopsis

This is a study of novels by Chester Himes, Malcolm Braly, and others on the experience of doing time in American prisons. The authors are all convicts or ex-convicts who were not professional writers before their incarceration. In fact, Massey notes, the confinement seems to have motivated them to put their experiences into words. Most of the prisoners were incarcerated for armed robbery, one of the most common felonies in the United States. The relationship between that crime and the American Dream has social and political implications, but these writers are neither prisoners of conscience nor prisoners of war.

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