Synopses & Reviews
From one of the greatest legal injustices of our time sprang one of the most unlikelyand unforgettablelove stories. Damien Echols was just eighteen years old when he was condemned to death for a crime he didnt commit. His casethat of the infamous West Memphis Three”gained notoriety after a documentary, Paradise Lost
, exposed the biased nature of the trial and Echols as the precocious, charmingand tragicfigure at its center. Lorri Davis was a landscape architect living in New York City when she surreptitiously wandered into a showing of the film, and she left forever changed. She, too, was from the South, accustomed to being the outsider in a small town. She saw much of herself in Echols, understood how he could easily have been swept up in a witch hunt, and she couldnt get him out of her head. So she wrote him a letterand when it arrived in Echolss penitentiary cell in April 1996, hers were some of the first kind words of support he heard.
Over the course of a remarkable sixteen-year correspondence, Echols and Davis grew to know each other, fall in love, and marryall without ever being able to touch each other freely or be alone together. In Yours for Eternity, their extraordinary letters provide a singular portrait of their marriage, from the first, heady days of discovery to the final, painful months before Echolss release. Through postscripts and footnotes, Echols and Davis describe how they overcame the enormous challenges and heartbreaks throughout the yearspersonal setbacks, legal complications, and much more. Yours for Eternity reveals a relationship unfolding in the most exceptional of circumstances. Powerful and incredibly intimate, it is a modern-day love story for the ages.
"Wrongly convicted at 18 along with two other teenagers and sentenced to death for the 1993 murder of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Ark., Echols spent nearly two decades in prison before being released in August 2011. In this searing, finely wrought memoir, Echols recalls his poverty-stricken childhood, the trial of the West Memphis 3, and the harsh realities of life on death row. Sent there in 1994, Echols journaled consistently, though many notebooks were destroyed by guards. Echols describes death row as the equivalent of solitary confinement, his only human contact the infrequently allowed visitors from the outside world. Even sunlight and fresh air were denied at Varner Super Max, the facility he was transferred to in 2003. Echols recalls his less than ideal home life, with a mother who cultivated drama and a stepfather he despised (the feeling seems to have been mutual). The most affecting sections are Echols's philosophical musings on all he has lost, his thoughts often influenced by Zen Buddhism. In one journal entry that survived the guards' purge, Echols contemplates what he misses the most while in prison. The answer is a heart-wrenching and simple commentary on American prison life: 'In the end it's not the fruit I miss most... I miss being treated like a human being.' (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The definitive memoir by Damien Echols of the “West Memphis Three,” who was falsely convicted of committing three murders, and an unforgettable account of his eighteen years on death row.
In 1993, teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.andmdash;who have come to be known as the West Memphis Threeandmdash;were arrested for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was marked by tampered evidence, false testimony, and public hysteria. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison; while eighteen-year-old Echols, deemed the andldquo;ringleader,andrdquo; was sentenced to death. Over the next two decades, the WM3 became known worldwide as a symbol of wrongful conviction and imprisonment, with thousands of supporters and many notable celebrities who called for a new trial. In a shocking turn of events, all three men were released in August 2011.
Now Echols shares his story in fullandmdash;from abuse by prison guards and wardens, to portraits of fellow inmates and deplorable living conditions, to the incredible reserves of patience, spirituality, and perseverance that kept him alive and sane while incarcerated for nearly two decades.
In these pages, Echols reveals himself a brilliant writer, infusing his narrative with tragedy and irony in equal measure: he describes the terrors he experienced every day and his outrage toward the American justice system, and offers a firsthand account of living on Death Row in heartbreaking, agonizing detail. Life After Death is destined to be a riveting, explosive classic of prison literature.
The New York Times
bestselling memoir by Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three,” who was falsely convicted of committing three murders and spent eighteen years on death row.
In 1993 teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., known as the West Memphis Three, were arrested for the murders of three boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was rife with inconsistencies, false testimony, and superstition. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison. Echols was sentenced to death. In a shocking reversal, all three were released in August 2011, and now Echols shares his story: from abuses by prison staff to descriptions of inmates and deplorable living conditions to the incredible reserves of patience and spirituality that kept him alive and sane for nearly two decades. A brilliant writer, Echols conveys tragedy and irony in equal measure, describing his anger and outrage toward the American justice system, and providing a window into life on death row in agonizing detail.
Yours for Eternity is an intimate look at the extraordinary love story between Damien Echols and Lorri Davis, who met and married while Echolsauthor of the New York Times bestseller Life After Deathserved nearly eighteen years on death row.
The New York Times bestselling memoir by Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three, who was falsely convicted of three murders and spent nearly eighteen years on Death Rowand#151;Life After Death is destined to be a classic of explosive, riveting prison literature.
New York Times bestselling author Damien Echols and his wife Lorri Davis reveal their intimate and affecting letters, written while Echols was wrongfully imprisoned on death row.
An explosive bestseller, Life After Death turned a national spotlight on Damien Echols, who was just eighteen when he was wrongly condemned to death. But one of the most remarkable parts of his story still remained untold. After seeing a documentary about the and#147;West Memphis Three,and#8221; Lorri Davisand#151;a New Yorkbased landscape architectand#151;wrote him a letter, beginning a thirteen-year correspondence that witnessed their marriage while Echols was still on death row and culminated in Echolsand#8217; release in 2011. Sharing their private letters, Yours for Eternity is a must-read for the legions who followed the case as well as anyone who appreciates an extraordinary love story.
About the Author
Damien Echolsand#160;was born in 1974 and grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. At age eighteen he was wrongfully convicted of murder, along with Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelley, Jr. Echols received a death sentence and spent almost eighteen years on Death Row, until he, Baldwin, and Misskelley were released in 2011. The West Memphis Three have been the subject ofand#160;Paradise Lost, a three-part documentary series produced by HBO, andand#160;West of Memphis, a documentary produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Echols is the author of a self-published memoir, Almost Home. He and his wife, Lorri Davis, live in Massachusetts.