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Blackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree by [Sanger, Mary Ellen]
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Blackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree Kindle Edition

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Length: 260 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

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 long days with 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.

About the Author

Mary Ellen Sanger lived in Mexico for 17 years, and has published short stories, creative nonfiction and poetry in Spanish and English in Mexico, the US and online. She led bilingual workshops for New York Writers Coalition for six years, and is currently working with Colorado State University's Community Literacy Center at the Larimer County Detention Center, where she writes with incarcerated women. Since leaving Mexico, Mary Ellen has been involved as a mentor and member of the fiction and poetry committees for the PEN Prison Writing Project, and as a post-production coordinator for the Emmy award-winning Mexican documentary "Presunto Culpable" (Presumed Guilty).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 931 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Create Space (5 November 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GRY3MZ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews
Mona AlvaradoFrazier
5.0 out of 5 starsCompelling and Eye Opening Book
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Deborah Clearman
5.0 out of 5 starsTrue stories from a Mexican prison
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Karen Connolly
5.0 out of 5 starsA Wonderful Book! Must Read!!!!!
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Daniel A. Sanger
5.0 out of 5 starsBlackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree - a review
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