LIFE AFTER DEATH from Penquin/ Blue Rider Press
in stores and available for download Sept. 18
From Penquin/ Blue Rider Press, the publisher:
|The definitive memoir by Damien Echols of the “West Memphis Three,” who was falsely convicted of comitting three murders, and an unforgettable account of his eighteen years on death row.|
In 1993, three teenagers—Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr., who have come to be known as the West Memphis Three—were arrested for the murders of three young boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was rife with inconsistencies, false testimony, and public hysteria. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison. Echols, deemed the “ringleader,” was sentenced to death at age eighteen. In a shocking reversal of events, all three were suddenly released in August 2011, and now Echols shares his story in full: from abuses by prison guards and wardens, to descriptions of inmates and deplorable living conditions, to the incredible reserves of patience, spirituality, and perseverance that kept him alive and sane for nearly two decades. Like The Glass Castle, Damien Echols tells a complicated, painful childhood story, and like Dead Man Walking, it is destined to be a classic of riveting, explosive prison literature. Echols reveals himself to be a brilliant writer, infusing his narrative with tragedy and irony in equal measure; he describes the terrors he experienced every day, his anger and outrage toward the American justice system, and he provides a window into life on death row in heartbreaking, agonizing detail.
|"Damien Echols suffered a shocking miscarriage of justice. A nightmare few could endure. An innocent man on death row for more than eighteen years, abused by the very system we all fund. His story will appall, fascinate, and render you feeble with tears and laughter. A brilliant memoir to battle with literary giants of the calibre of Jean Genet, Gregory David Roberts, and Dostoevsky."|
|“I immediately related to Damien. . . . I can remember kind of being looked upon as a freak, if you will, different, because I didn't dress like everybody else. . . I can empathize with being judged for how you look rather than being who you are.”—Johnny Depp|