Parts of this story are autobiographical. Like the protagonist, James Monroe, I had gone through a painful divorce and I was in somewhat of an identity crisis. Most men define their lives through their family and the accomplishments of their career. So in my early forties I began to look for my true identity as a man and as a human being as opposed to being defined by my trophies of accomplishment, power and position. The novel takes an honest look at what it means to be an authentic human being once all of the trappings of societal norms have been stripped away. In prison James Monroe discovers a side of himself that had been suppressed or hidden. He discovers his capacity to be vulnerable and selfless. He essentially redefines manhood by allowing those previously dormant qualities of unconditional love and ongoing care for others to emerge as the new markers of manhood.
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Contributor: Dede Cummings from Green Writers Press