After visiting Jarvis Jay Masters at San Quentin, Eric Brandt, Senior Editor at HarperOne, talks about Jarvis and his book.
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 authors childhood with parents addicted to heroin, an abusive foster family, a life of crime and imprisonment, and the eventual embracing of Buddhism.
Jarvis Jay Masters has taken an extraordinary journey of faith. Strangely enough, his moment of enlightenment came behind the bars of San Quentin's death row. In this compelling memoir, inmate and author Jarvis Jay Masters takes us from the arms of his heroin-addicted mother to an abusive foster home, on his escape to the illusory freedom of the streets and through lonely nights spent in bus stations and juvenile homes, and finally to life inside the walls of San Quentin State Prison. Using the nub and filler from a ballpoint pen (the only writing instrument allowed him in solitary confinement), Masters chronicles the story of a bright boy who turns to a life of crime, and of a penitent man who embraces Buddhism to find hope in this ultimately inspirational story.
Masters has written his remarkable story as a cautionary tale for anyone who might be tempted to follow in his footsteps, and as a plea for under-standing to a world that too often ignores the plight of the forgotten members of society. His personal story dramatically reminds us all that freedom and opportunity are not to be taken for granted, and that no matter what their neighborhood, no matter what their race, every child matters.
That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row Author: Jarvis Jay Masters ISBN: 9780061730450
Video Shot by Laina Adler Edited by Abby Berendt Music by Kevin MacLeod