Channeling Mark Twain (Random House)
In the 1970's, National Book Award finalist Carol Muske-Dukes founded a creative writing program at Riker's Island prison, the first of its kind. Her sometimes harrowing, sometimes exhilirating, and always intense experiences working with the inmates inspired her to write this novel about poetry, politics and sex. It is set in a women's prison in 1970's New York City, about a young, spirited female poet hoping to share her passion for social justice by teaching writing there.
"... a riveting story... In an anti-heroic age, she's given us a true hero in Polly, who's as unforgettable as Huck Finn. Send up a flare!"
"Effortlessly, the narrator's story here becomes one with the stories of the women in prison. Rarely do we encounter a perspective clear as glass through which the characters look back at the narrator without mirror or microscope, false hierarchy or romanticizing. Brava."