Wall Tappings

Judith A. Scheffler, Wall Tappings, an International Anthology of Women's Prison Writings 200 to the Present, the Feminist Press, City University of New York, 2002 (1986)

This edition offers more than 30 selections from women imprisoned in a variety of nations--democratic and totalitarian, rich and poor, including Argentina, Chile, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Iran, the Philippines, South Africa, and the U.S. The collection includes autobiographies, memoirs, letters, diaries, essays, fiction, poetry, and drama. Many of the women are political prisoners, and many are at risk of torture and sexual violence in prison. The collection is organized thematically into six parts--women's efforts to oppose misogyny, their causes and beliefs, views on prison conditions, coping strategies, effects of imprisonment on family relationships, and solidarity among sister prisoners--with selections arranged chronologically. From a woman writing from a Roman prison cell in 203 A.D. to women currently incarcerated in the U.S., this collection profoundly merges women's and prison writing to convey a struggle for self-definition and the survival of human dignity, and how writing helped them nurture their spirits.

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