In Episode 119, Keri Blakinger joins me to discuss her debut memoir, Corrections in Ink, a mind-blowing personal story, also speaks to the broader issues of addiction and women in the prison system. Keri went from being an elite figure skater in her youth to being arrested for possession of heroin while a student at Cornell, and then serving two years in the New York prison system. In her memoir, Keri is self-reflective, sharing what is ultimately a hopeful and redemptive story, despite the dark places it goes along the way.
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- When and why Keri decided to share her story in book form.
- How the pandemic impacted her journalism career and writing her memoir.
- The connection between her figure skating, her mental health, and her drug addiction.
- Some of the bigger surprises she experienced in prison.
- How Keri thinks she managed to overcome the statistics and “make good on a second chance.”
- An example of the ways inmates work around some of the arbitrary and unwritten rules of jail.
- All about ‘books in jail’: requesting and ordering books, time allotted to reading, access, and prison libraries.
- Keri’s personal reading experience in jail and covering this topic as a journalist.
- Current issues Keri is investigating within the prison system.
Keri’s Book Recommendations [32:02]
Two OLD Books She Loves
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro | Amazon | Bookshop.org [32:17]
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein | Amazon | Bookshop.org [33:56]
Two NEW Books She Loves
- Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough | Amazon | Bookshop.org [37:30]
- Breathing Fire by Jaime Lowe | Amazon | Bookshop.org [39:33]
One Book She DIDN’T LOVE
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn | Amazon | Bookshop.org [41:47]
One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About
- A Deal with the Devil by Pamela Colloff (November 2023) | [44:04]
Last 5-Star Book Keri Read
Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia | Amazon | Bookshop.org [47:20]
Other Books Mentioned
- On Lynchings by Ida B. Wells-Barnett (new edition on November 15, 2022) [26:43]
- Blood in the Water by Heather Ann Thompson [27:13]
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [29:30]
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger [29:42]
- Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman [30:28]
- The Keep by Jennifer Egan [30:32]
About Keri Blakinger
Keri Blakinger is a Texas-based investigative reporter and the author of the Corrections in Ink, a memoir tracing her path from figure skating to heroin addiction to prison and, finally, to life as a journalist covering mass incarceration. Currently reporting for The Marshall Project, her work covering criminal justice, has previously appeared in VICE, the New York Daily News, the BBC, and The New York Times. She previously worked for the Houston Chronicle and was a member of the Chronicle‘s Pulitzer-finalist team in 2018. Her 2019 coverage of women’s jails for The Washington Post Magazine helped earn a National Magazine Award.
Next week on August 17, Catherine and I will be back for our Summer 2022 Circle Back episode.
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