Book cover for The Life Inside

The Life Inside



03 February 2022
352 pages
Imprint: Picador


The wisdom plus lived experience on display in this book are by turns enriching, sobering and at times, heartrending. A tale centering on our inner critic or executioner and how to stifle its constant sniping. A wonder.
Andy West powerfully interweaves an account of teaching philosophy in prison with his own family’s history of imprisonment, creating an intellectually thrilling memoir of freedom and constraint. West reminds us that thinking, debating, and learning are not luxuries but crucial for survival, urgent inquiries into who we are.
Andy West’s tense and intimate book is an education - a completely unsentimental and, for that reason, a compassionate and moving one. At its heart is an appeal against the life sentence handed down by Larkin in ‘This Be The Verse’. The Life Inside deserves the widest possible readership.
Andy West bears witness to life inside prison, weaving philosophical questions about free will, forgiveness, guilt and shame, with family history and the realities of incarceration. Beautifully written – honest, painful, absurd and sometimes joyfulThe Life Inside reveals how people survive.