Six strangers are locked together in a jail cell for one long night. Meet: Baby, Alexa, Richmond, The Social Worker, and Mudd...
Under the mean blaze of all-night fluorescents and clanging cell doors, six diverse women tell their stories--a teen who beat up her bully, a divorcee framed by her violent ex, a sex worker, a social worker, a pregnant mom caught up with the wrong gang, and an older yoga therapist--our writer--who is accused of singlehandedly assaulting four cops. It is her story, their stories, and our U.S. history of bullying and dominance in law enforcement; and it's a story of kindness--six cellmates who share pain, trust, and their own brand of love, even as "criminals" in an unforgettable night of darkness.
This unsparing memoir reveals the reality of surviving an assault, and the moral injury of police brutality. It is for the power-full and those rendered power-less, for assault survivors and those trained to work with trauma, and for everyone in this country finally awakening to what is real. The effect of a police assault is life-changing to its victim; here it leads to a long and determined fight for marriage, sanity, and physical health while the threat of jail is looming.
Diana Tokaji, winner of the 2020 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes award, brings to bear a masterpiece of witness and writing that will enthrall the reader as story, and open hearts and minds to truth.
For mature readers of mixed ages and backgrounds.
"Breathtaking. Raw. Brilliant. And beautifully crafted."
-Deborah King, creator of ReGrowing Our Wings: Yoga for Healing Trauma
"I laughed, cried, and truly connected with this story."
-Nadia Salazar, Community and Labor Organizer
"With lyricism and candor, Ms. Tokaji has produced a mirror--everyone should read this necessary work."
-Devi S. Laskar, author, The Atlas of Reds and Blues, Winner of the 2020 Asia/Pacific American Literature Award