In The Home Stretch, Erwin James writes about the end of his life sentence and prospect of release. Like his previous prison notebooks, A Life Inside, James writes about his imminent freedom without self pity but with humanity and honesty. He tries to imagine what his life on the outside will be like and comes to grips with how the world has changed since he began his long sentence.In his memoirs Erwin James has produced two classic portraits of modern prison life, as eye-opening as they are compelling.
Erwin James served 20 years of a life sentence before his release in August 2004. In prison he took a degree course with the Open University, majoring in history, and graduated in 1994. His first article for a national newspaper, the Independent, appeared in 1994. He won first prize in the annual Koestler awards for prose in 1995. His first article in the Guardian appeared in 1998 and he began writing a regular column, entitled 'A Life Inside', in the Guardian in 2000. A collection of his columns, A Life Inside, a Prisoner's Notebook, was published by Atlantic Booksin 2003. A follow-up, The Home Stretch, From Prison to Parole, was published in April 2005.