15 To Life: How I Painted My Way To Freedom
15 To Life: How I Painted My Way To Freedom
15 To Life: How I Painted My Way To Freedom

15 To Life: How I Painted My Way To Freedom

  • Publish Date: 2004-11-01
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Anthony Papa
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From Publishers Weekly review:

This tension-filled memoir by aprisoner turned activist and artist may seem familiar after JenniferGonnerman's NBA-nominated Life on the Outside, but unlike Gonnerman,Papa describes excessive imprisonment under harsh drug laws with thegrim certainty of firsthand experience. In 1984, he rashly agreed, for$500, to deliver a package containing four and a half ounces of cocainefor a gambling acquaintance. It turned out to be a sting, and Papa wasconvicted and sentenced to 15 years to life. Although at first suffusedwith melodramatic regret, the account becomes leaner when Papa arrivesat Sing Sing and describes the hazards and absurdities of thenotoriously crowded, grimy prison. He found spiritual release fromdespair and violence through educational programs on painting, writingand law. Papa's public stature rose after a painting of his wasexhibited at the Whitney Museum, and after numerous travails threatenedhis health and sanity, he was granted executive clemency after 12 yearsbehind bars. Papa has since been active with the group Mothers of theDisappeared and the movement to repeal the overly harsh Rockefeller drug laws; his paintings combine surrealist overtones with hard-edgedsubjects often derived from the prison-industrial complex, and theyreflect the material of his book memorably.
--Publishers Weekly

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