Arthur Longworth is a writer with extraordinary range: master of memoir, personal essay, journalism, and fiction, he works equally well across genre and media. His published works include fiction and non-fiction, op-ed and long-form journalism, popular articles and public scholarship. His topics are equally wide-ranging, moving from solitary confinement to existentialism, from Life Without the Possibility of Parole to the question of life itself. This body of work crosses genres and topics with an ease that belies the precision and craft of each individual piece. For some writers, range trumps depth. Not so for Longworth. His minimalist prose balances sentences honed to a spare intimacy with those of blazing intensity. The result is in turns elegant and brutal, sharp and elegiac, playful and wrenching. Longworth’s characteristic juxtaposition of imagistic and declarative sentences remaps routes between sense and meaning, something that makes his work eminently teachable for undergraduate and graduate students alike.Gillian Harkins, Associate Professor, English Department, University of Washington
[Zek] strikes me as an honest, accurate account of imprisonment, and I am especially grateful for the details about solitary. It is a compelling and important novel. Katy Ryan, West Virginia University, Associate Professor of English and Founder of the Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP)
The Prologue to "Zek" may be the finest bit of prison writing I have ever encountered.Miguel Ferguson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Texas School of Social Work, and founder of "Words Beyond Walls," a prisoner/student education program.
The novel uses astonishing detail to steadily draw the reader into a routine day in the life of a prison abyss, a world where the struggle to maintain one's humanity clashes with a desperate fight for survival. For those interested in learning about what the prison experience does to the human spirit, it is not to be missed.