Dead Weight

By: Randall Horton

Dead Weight is a memoir in linked essays that chronicles the improbable turnaround of a drug smuggler who, after being sentenced to a total of eight years in state prison, had his sentence commuted in 2000, and consequently returned to society to earn a PhD in Creative Writing and become the only tenured professor in the United States with seven felony convictions. It highlights the difficulties of trying to change one’s life for the good, how the weight of seven felony convictions never leaves the returning citizen.

Dead Weight creatively addresses issues through a mix of personal experience and broader historical observations, providing an essential narrative that builds on such texts as The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell Jackson, A Question of Freedom by Reginald Dwyane Betts, Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon, and The Recovering by Leslie Jamison.

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