Mary Ellen Sanger had made her life in Mexico for 17 years when she suddenly found herself in prison in Oaxaca, Mexico, arrested on invented charges. She spent 33 days in Ixcotel State Prison in the fall of 2003. These stories of the women she met there, illuminate her biggest surprise and her only consolation in prison: the solidarity that formed among the women she lived, ate, swept and passed l...
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 7, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
Amazon Rank: 1657536
Format: PDF ePub Text TXT fb2 book
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Ms. Sanger's descriptive prose is engaging and sets the tone for the book. Passages such as: "The sky changed from onyx to pearl and the hum of the morning turned melodic as insects stowed themselves away and birds awakened," are replete in the pages...
th while inside. Nine lyrical tales show the depth of emotions that insist on their own space, even in these harshest of circumstances. The largest and brawniest woman in the prison, doing time for armed robbery, kills a rat with her foot, then turns to the author for help with a very special letter. Another young woman, only nineteen years old, has already been in for three years, guilty of kidnapping her own child. And Ana, a political prisoner, teaches the author about creative ways to turn the tide, one including frog-eating snakes. Mary Ellen weaves her own tale through the stories. Accused of a crime that doesn't exist by a powerful man in Mexico, she depends on the fierce solidarity of friends on the outside, and a brilliant lawyer who trusts in the rule of law... even in Mexico. The women incarcerated in Ixcotel State Prison said that the blackbirds chattered in the lone pomegranate tree in the courtyard whenever a woman was about to be released. They are chattering now. ________________________________ Excerpt from introduction by Elena Poniatowska: Mary Ellen’s hands blister, but she never shows her wounds. Nor does she show her resulting callouses. She assembles in the courtyard and joins the circle of women who at first reject her for her blond hair and her blue eyes. She shares pistachios with them, and when she innocently tells them that she likes to write poetry but the words won’t come here in the pen, Concha sends her a lifeline: "Don’t worry, blondie, someday you’ll write the good stuff again.” ... “Blackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree” is a life lesson. If they were to throw me in jail, I would carry it with me to read each night, as some read the Bible or the Gospels. In its pages I would find strength and faith in humankind, and I would know that to believe in “the others” is a path to salvation. I suppose and believe that I am not wrong in saying that for Mary Ellen, Mexico is a woman who one day, will find herself.