WHAT THE PRESS SAY...
About THE WOMEN OF SAN QUENTIN:
HUFFINGTON POST: “The Women of San Quentin: Soul Murder of Transgender Women in Male Prisons exposes the horrendous, inhumane treatment of transgender women incarcerated in U.S. male prisons.” Toni Newman
LAMBDA LITERARY REVIEW: “Demanding multiple readings to uncover its many layers, The Women of San Quentin emerges as one of those rare gems: a compassionate, uncompromising examination of violence that emerges from the voices of survivors themselves, and can therefore be poised to inform meaningful change if we take notice. The more that such thoroughly researched and well-crafted resources exist, the harder it is for us to plausibly deny that the treatment of trans female prisoners demands our attention and resistance. My hat’s off to Lyseggen, who was willing to use her own resources and privileges–personal time, skills, access to space, and money — to create something that the prisons and the odds seemed to refute at every turn. The world needs more art and active allyship like this.” Mitch Kellaway
OUTSMART MAGAZINE, HOUSTON: “Every story is such a brutal and outrageous offense to simple human dignity that I am left shaking after reading them. This book is the most compelling argument for comprehensive prison reform that I know of.” Angel Curtis
SAN JOSE INSIDE: “The volume, filled with the letters, portraits and biographies of nine gender-variant inmates, offers a rare, nuanced glimpse of the trauma inflicted upon trans women by a system that considers them men. In her book, Lyseggen raises the question: What do we owe a criminal? The short answer, she says, is the right to dignity and rehabilitation. But the question should prompt people to look at the way society criminalizes transgender people in the first place. Rejected by their families, a disproportionate number of trans men and women become homeless and turn to crimes of survival, - sex work, theft, violence in self defense - a cycle in and out of incarceration. “We betrayed these women long before they became adults by not believing what they told us about who they are,” Lyseggen writes. And then we lock some of the up, we torture them, watch them being raped, and forget that they exist.” Jennifer Wadsworth
“At its worst, the U.S. criminal justice system does more than execute individuals: It murders their very souls. That's the premise of Norwegian photojournalist Kristin Schreier Lyseggen’s searing new book, The Women of San Quentin: Soul Murder of Transgender Women in Male Prisons. Lyseggen crisscrossed the country to photograph, interview, and collect memorabilia from trans women who had been housed in men's prisons, highlighting the resilient spirit of one of the nation's most vulnerable populations inside the criminal justice system. She visited subjects in what she calls the “war zone” of low-income neighborhoods in East Oakland, Calif., and “the run-down and chaotic” Tenderloin district in San Francisco. She met with legendary trans justice and prison reform advocates like Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Angela Davis.The images in The Women of San Quentin and the stories behind them bear unflinching witness to the lives of those who contend with a prison system that even President Obama acknowledges is long overdue for change.” Cleis Abeni
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