Cover image for Wall tappings : an anthology of writings by women prisoners
Wall tappings : an anthology of writings by women prisoners
Scheffler, Judith A., 1949-
Publication Information:
Boston : Northeastern University Press, [1986]

Physical Description:
xvi, 363 pages ; 25 cm
Format :

On Order

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A collection of writing by 26 women, either during or after their imprisonment. The contributions range in time and place from the prisons of Paris in 1793 to a Washington, DC, prison in 1865, a California prison in 1972, and one in New York City in 1979. Among the writers are Ethel Rosenberg, Margaret Sanger, Barbara Deming, Anna Louise Strong, Rosa Luxemburg, Agnes Smedley, and Erika Huggins, as well as Chilean women prisoners and Joyce Sikakane, a black woman imprisoned in South Africa. A premise of the editor is that unlike the male prisoner, the woman prisoner understands that she has always been a prisoner and that once in prison, she trades virtual imprisonment in society for actual imprisonment. Most of the writings are letters or essays and memoirs, but there are also some poems and fiction. Although some readers may question the organization of the material, the excerpts themselves provide insight into the struggles of their authors to cope with prison itself, or to advance a cause or belief. Scheffler provides a thoughtful and scholarly introduction; each section is introduced with a discussion of the writers and the issues addressed. Substantial annotated bibliography of more than 100 writings by women prisoners. Public and academic libraries, community college level up.-S. Halpern, formerly College of New Rochelle