In 1997 Mark Salzman, bestselling author Iron and Silk and Lying Awake, paid a reluctant visit to a writing class at L.A.’s Central Juvenile Hall, a lockup for violent teenage offenders, many of them charged with murder. What he found so moved and astonished him that he began to teach there regularly. In voices of indelible emotional presence, the boys write about what led them to crime and about the lives that stretch ahead of them behind bars. We see them coming to terms with their crime-ridden pasts and searching for a reason to believe in their future selves. Insightful, comic, honest and tragic, True Notebooks is an object lesson in the redemptive power of writing.
“Extraordinary. . . . Everything about this book seems perfect.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Fresh, galvanizing and articulate . . . a narrative that asks as many questions as it answers. Cogent, thoughtful and honest.” —The New York Times
“One cannot read. . . and not be stirred . . . As moving as it is sparse, as revealing as it is concealing, as straightforward as it is complex.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Engaging. . . . Salzman creates a cast of lively, convincing, and hugely sympathetic characters and True Notebooks is filled with powerfully moving scenes.” —O, The Oprah Magazine