Five Women, first published in 1965, was Tony Parker's fourth book. Its intended subjects had emerged from Holloway prison for women on the same cold spring morning in 1963. Between them they shared 73 criminal convictions and nearly a hundred years 'inside'.
Parker intended to interview each of the women about their lives, hopes, intentions, fears; and to arrange follow-up conversations in due course. But one disappeared immediately, and six months later two of the five were dead, two more back in prison. The scope of Parker's project duly changed, but not its purpose - to record the experiences and thoughts of women mired in the cycle of habitual offences and custodial sentences.
|Publisher:||Faber and Faber|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||195 KB|
|Age Range:||10 - 14 Years|
About the Author
Tony Parker was born in Stockport on June 25 1923, the son of a bookseller. His mother died when he was 4. He began to write poems and plays in his late teens. Called up to military service early in the Second World War he declared himself a conscientious objector and, in lieu, was sent to work at a coal-mine in the North East, where he observed conditions and met people who influenced him hugely. After the war he began to work as a publisher's representative and, voluntarily, as a prison visitor - the latter another important stimulus to his subsequent writings.
After Parker happened to make the acquaintance of a BBC radio producer and imparted his growing interest in the lives, opinions and self-perceptions of the prisoners he had met, he was given the opportunity to record an interview with a particular convict for broadcast on the BBC. The text of the interview was printed in the Listener, and spotted by the publishers Hutchinson as promising material for a book. This duly emerged as The Courage of His Convictions (1962), for which Parker and the career criminal 'Robert Allerton' (a pseudonym) were jointly credited as authors. Over the next 30 years Parker would publish 18 discrete works, most of them 'oral histories' based on discreetly edited but essentially verbatim interview transcripts. He died in 1996 (though one further work, a study of his great American counterpart Studs Terkel, appeared posthumously.)