Shakespeare saved my life by Laura Bates

Shakespeare saved my lifeThis title popped up as one to read on my kindle as part of Norfolk’s Great Big Read. I rarely read non fiction, but thought I ought to have a go, and it is magnificent! Easy to read and really thought provoking. Laura ran a literacy programme, specifically using Shakespeare, with prisoners, but not just in open prisons, her main ‘pupils’ we’re in solitary confinement mainly for murder. The book details the amazing story of one prisoner in particular-Larry- in for life and in solitary confinement for the past 10 years. He really took to the programme and together with Laura wrote workbooks for other prisoners.
The prisoners used the plays of Shakespeare to provide themselves with insights into their own feelings, motives and behaviour. From this, they also provided Laura with insights into Shakespeare that she and other scholars had not previously considered.
But the power of the book is not just in the story, through it the prisoners become real people, people who are just like you or me, but who, often due to circumstances have found themselves making a wrong turn in life and not known how to change until they found Shakespeare.


Reserve Shakespeare saved my life


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