Monday, October 24, 2022

Winterland and Prisons Have a Long Memory -- MAILBOX MONDAY


A couple of interesting -- and different -- books came my way last week. 

Winterland by Rae Meadows (2022, Henry Holt)

This novel starts in the Soviet Union in 1973 when eight-year-old Anya is chosen to be part of the famed USSR gymnastics program.  It is a story of competitive sports and the story of Anya missing mother. 

Winterland comes out November 29 and is available for pre-order. I was lucky to get an early review copy from LibraryThing

From the publisher's description:
In the Soviet Union in 1973, there is perhaps no greater honor for a young girl than to be chosen to be part of the famed USSR gymnastics program. So when eight-year-old Anya is tapped, her family is thrilled. What is left of her family, that is. Years ago her mother disappeared. Anya's only confidant is her neighbor, an older woman who survived unspeakable horrors during her ten years in a Gulag camp--and who, unbeknownst to Anya, was also her mother's confidant and might hold the key to her disappearance. As Anya moves up the ranks of competitive gymnastics, and as other girls move down, Anya soon comes to realize that there is very little margin of error for anyone.

Prisons Have a Long Memory: Life Inside Oregon's Oldest Prison, edited by Tracy D. Schlapp and Daniel J. Wilson (2022, Bridgeworks Oregon). 

This is a collection of essays, poems, and memoir written by prisoners at the Oregon State Penitentiary.  Schlapp and Wilson started and led a "storytelling" group inside the prison and then worked with an editorial board of adults in custody to compile this collection. 

This book is part of Schlapp and Wilson's efforts at Bridgeworks Oregon, which started with them forming the band Luther's Boots to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison album. I've known Danny since before we started college and I think this work he is doing in prisons is amazing. 

From the publisher's description:

Danny Wilson and Tracy Schlapp assembled the storytelling group Ground Beneath Us at Oregon State Penitentiary in May 2019. For the past three years, they have mentored men in writing about life inside, using questions posed by middle and high school students as a springboard. Over seventy thousand children in Oregon are impacted by incarceration. These kids have questions they may be afraid to pose to their family members who serve time: fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters. Prison life requires a person to do difficult personal work and redefine oneself. This writing is testimony to that work. The result is a rich anthology filled with poetry, essays, and memoir that together present a picture of life at OSP and an exploration of the internal struggle to atone, find peace, and create community. Adult in Custody editorial board members have assembled a selection of powerful stories to be shared with the outside world. Wilson and Schlapp provided editorial support and guidance to the writers. Prisons Have a Long Memory will be presented within prisons and neighboring communities throughout Oregon thanks to support from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Oregon Humanities, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


What books came into your house recently?

Join other book lovers on Mailbox Monday to share the books that came into your house lately. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught Our Eye.

Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf, and Emma of Words and Peace graciously host Mailbox Monday.


  1. I love the cover for Winterland. Both books sound really good. Enjoy!

  2. These both look really interesting. Happy Reading!


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