BOOKS: That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row

“That Bird Has My Wings” is a new book by Jarvis Jay Masters, an inmate on San Quentin’s death row in California. In this memoir, Masters tells his story from an early life with his heron-addicted mother to an abusive foster home. He describes his escape to the illusory freedom of the streets and through lonely nights spent in bus stations and juvenile homes, and finally to life inside the walls of San Quentin Prison. Using the nub and filler from a ballpoint pen (the only writing instrument allowed him in solitary confinement), Masters chronicles the story of a bright boy who turned to a life of crime, and of a penitent man who embraces Buddhism to find hope. Masters has written this story as a cautionary tale for anyone who might be tempted to follow in his footsteps, and as a plea for understanding about the forgotten members of society. (From publisher’s description).

(J. Masters, “That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row,” Harper Collins 2009). See Books and Death Row.