"In the 'Razor Wire Wilderness' of Stephanie Dickinson's exquisitely lyrical portrayal of female incarceration - intimately researched by becoming pen pals with many inmates over many years - she reveals her own dark attraction and identification with Krystal Riordan. ... It is not, 'There but for the grace of God go I, ' but because of Dickinson's grace and amazing god-given talent that she is able to take us into the heart, mind, memory and imagination of Krystal, passive accomplice to a nightmarish crime. In prison where there is no weather, Dickinson manages to encompass the great Outside; her rendering of Maximum Compound is the opposite of a claustrophobic read. Like Hamlet, bound in a nutshell, Dickinson is king of Infinite space, Infinite empathy, and the Infinite beauty of bad dreams."
Part memoir, part true crime, and part meditation on the resilience of the human spirit, Razor Wire Wilderness is penned with precision and grace. Due to Stephanie Dickinson's unique ability to identify and magnify the personal details that are often unknowingly or willingly overlooked, this book transforms the way we see not only the complexities of a tragic crime but also the way violence becomes embedded in our lives and collective social systems. At its core, this is a story about friendship, but it is also about survival, what happens to us, and what we get to decide during our brief existence. It is about the way we live when we are caged, be that literally or figuratively, and the beckoning light of genuine human connection."
About the Author
Stephanie Dickinson, raised on an Iowa farm, now lives in New York City. Her novels Half Girl and Love Highway are published by Spuyten Duyvil. Her work has appeared in Hotel Amerika, Mud.fish, The Bitter Oleander, Lit, Columbia Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and New Stories from the South.