An American Prison Story
Gabalfa Press, 9780997029901, 186pp.
Publication Date: June 9, 2016
Jonny is broken off, and doing time in an eastern Washington State Prison. He'll likely never see the outside world again. When Jonny is sent to the hole, he chances upon a deteriorating book. Intending at first to savor it, to read only a little at a time, he emerges a few short hours later, the book finished--And Jonny changed. Zek is his story, and it lays bare the brutality of a life spent behind bars. It is naked. It is ugly. And it is beautiful.
Arthur Longworth was born in Tacoma, Washington, was state-raised, and entered prison at the age of 21 with a seventh-grade education. He is widely published and has won numerous awards for his writing, including three National PEN awards. Completed in 2005, Zek utilizes the literary structure of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich to tell the story of a day in the life of a prisoner in the United States. It is likely Arthur Longworth's most widely read work, as it has been passed among prisoners and prison guards for over a decade. Zek is available now for the first time on the outside.