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THAT BIRD HAS MY WINGS

 
 
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Jarvis Jay Masters, HarperOne, 2009

That Bird Has My Wings is the astounding memoir of death row inmate Jarvis Masters and a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and the talent of a fine writer.

Offering scenes from his life that are at times poignant, revelatory, frightening, soul-stirring, painful, funny, and uplifting, That Bird Has My Wings tells the story of the author’s childhood with parents addicted to heroin, an abusive foster family, a life of crime and imprisonment, and the eventual embracing of Buddhism.

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Reviews

Jarvis Jay Masters was set on a dangerous course which eventually brought him to death row. Somehow, within those walls, he now demonstrates divine grace in his daily life and by the cautionary tale he shares within these pages. This amazing, wise man deserves our ear, and our support.

Forthright about his own failings, Masters’ truth has brought him reconciliation with his best self. His compelling memoir is a plea for reform, for a common humanity, and I share his hope that this moving story will redouble our efforts to make sure that every child matters.

Jarvis Jay Masters’ moving memoir provides an intimate portrait of the tragic racial inequality in our justice system, and testifies to the need for better education, greater training, and increased opportunity to keep these forgotten youth from ending up in our nation’s juvenile centers and prisons. Read this book!

A real-life The Wire-heartbreaking and harrowing, impossible to put down. A miraculous accomplishment, That Bird Has My Wings captivates, instructs, and inspires as Masters shows how enlightenment can occur even in a place as grim as San Quentin Prison’s death row.

All across America, boys are lost to trauma and deprivation. Few of them have given voice to their experience and the redemptive power of spirituality as has Jarvis Jay Masters.

Brave, heartbreaking, redemptive and wise. Jarvis Jay Masters has turned his life into remarkable good medicine.

A gripping indictment of poverty and the foster-care system.

Masters’ . . .ability to recognize, subdue and transform the self-destructive drive such life-denying forces promote is a lesson for us all. His time is now. His book is a testament to the human spirit.

A heartbreaking memoir; the brutal conditions of Masters’s boyhood will be difficult for some readers to take, but his ultimate message of hope and reconciliation is moving and inspiring. Highly recommended.

Masters’ intelligent, incisive prose paints a compelling depiction of the horrors leading to his situation. . . . while awaiting execution, Masters gives us much to think about.