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The Relation of My Imprisonment
Series No.: SM Banks
ISBN: 978-0940650244, Pages: 121
American Literature, Fiction
A Sun & Moon title.
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The Relation of My Imprisonment uses a storytelling technique invented by imprisoned Puritans in the 17th century. Designed to be exemplary, works of this type were aimed at brethren outside the prison walls and functioned primarily as figurative dramatization of the test of faith all true believers must endure. These "relations," framed by scripture and by a sermon explicating the text, were usually read aloud in weekly or monthly installments during religious services. Utterly sincere and detailed recounting of suffering, they were nonetheless highly artificial. To use the form self-consciously, as Russell Banks has done, is not to parody it so much as to argue good-humoredly with the mind it embodies, to explore and, if possible, to map the limits of that mind, the more intelligently to love it.
Russell Banks's work has been translated into 20 languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards. His main works include Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter, and Affliction. The latter two fictions were each made into feature films in 1997.