a life inside



Erwin James’s remarkable writings about life in prison, A Life Inside and The Home Stretch, have established themselves as classics of the genre.

"Prison writing doesn't come any better than this..." Jonathan Aitken

A Life Inside

A Life Inside is the story of a journey from vicious and dysfunctional youth to reformed middle age. It does not glorify crime, nor does it seek to make excuses for its author’s past. But Erwin James’s account of his incarcerated life is a dramatic human story that no reader will readily forget.

' Compelling and intelligent prose about life inside.’ Daily Telegraph

‘An extraordinary portrayal of life in a British prison.’ Daily Mail

‘A powerful and illuminating description of real life behind bars that stays in your mind long after you put the book down.’ Daily Express

‘James has transformed our view of what it means to be inside.’ The Scotsman

Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN No: 978 1 90380 998 3

the home stretch

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The Home Stretch

In this sequel to A Life Inside, Erwin James begins his final year of incarceration and contemplates life as a free man.

Like his previous prison notebook, A Life Inside, James writes without self-pity but with humanity and honesty. He tries to imagine what his life on the outside will be like and how the world will have changed since he began his long sentence almost twenty years earlier.

What does it say about a man who had done almost twenty years in prison that his writing should be marked by such humanity, compassion and wisdom? Never pleading for himself or pitching for our pity, Erwin James’s account of life inside is fascinating not just for its portrait of a harsh and secret world but because in the author we are introduced to a man of rare self awareness, strength and intelligence.’ Ronan Bennett

‘A witty and clever meditation on freedom…’ The British Council

‘This is real life in an unreal environment, frankly and powerfully rendered”
Book of the WeekTime Out

Publisher Atlantic Books
ISBN No: 978 1 84354 438 8

Buy the book online here