Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Interrupted LifeExperiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rickie Solinger and Rebecca Sharitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520252493

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520252493.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Imagining the Self and Other: Women Narrate Prison Life across Cultures

Imagining the Self and Other: Women Narrate Prison Life across Cultures

(p.196) 36 Imagining the Self and Other: Women Narrate Prison Life across Cultures
Interrupted Life

Lynne Haney

András Tapolcai

University of California Press

This chapter describes the effects of incarceration in two very different penal contexts: a community-based prison for women in California and a maximum-security facility for women in Hungary. Based on years of conducting creative writing classes in these prisons, the authors of this chapter trace the imprint the environments left on inmates' imaginations. On the one hand, they explore how the institutional scripts available to the U.S. inmates centered on the individual—usually through narratives of addiction and pathology. Their stories focused on the emergence of new selves freed from old pathologies and ways of being. This focus then led the women to rely exclusively on the “I” in their writing and to represent their experiences in purely personal terms. On the other hand, the authors show how the Hungarian inmates rejected references to the self. The authors conclude about the cultural differences—the relation between guilt and redemption—in these women's worldviews.

Keywords:   California, Hungary, incarceration, self, creative writing, narratives, pathology, cultural differences, guilt, redemption

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.