Couldn't Keep It to Myself

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Couldn't Keep It to Myself
Couldn't Keep It to Myself Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters cover.jpg
Author Wally Lamb
Nancy Whiteley
Carolyn Ann Adams
Tabatha Rowley
Nancy Birkla
Brenda Medina
Robin Cullen
Bonnie Foreshaw
Barbara Parsons Lane
Michelle Jessamy
Diane Bartholomew
Dale Griffith
Genre Autobiography
Publisher ReganBooks
Publication date
Pages 350
ISBN ISBN 0-06-053429-X
OCLC 50920613

Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters is a collection of autobiographies by the inmates of the York Correctional Institution.


For several years, Wally Lamb taught writing skills to inmates at the York Correctional Institution, a women's prison in Niantic, Connecticut. The book contains personal stories written by the inmates dealing with their lives. Most were sexually, physically, or mentally abused, and came from impoverished backgrounds.


  • Allyssa Lee, of Entertainment Weekly, said that the book has 12 riveting, touching autobiographical accounts that look past the bars to lay bare lives that would normally have gone unheard and that the book deserves an audience.[1]
  • It was reviewed by Women in Action.[2]
  • Kathryn C. DeVito, of Pop Matters, said that the book has vivid and intimate portrayals remind us that these women are human beings first, inmates second and she wonders why Wally Lamb's name is in bold print on the cover since he did not write the book.[3]
  • It was reviewed by Inner Lives: Voices of African-American Women in Prison.[4]
  • An inmate, Barbara Parsons Lane, won a Pen Literary Award for her contribution to the book.[5]