In the Grip of the Law
This book contributes significantly to Law and Literature studies. Arguing for the political relevance of their work, the editors open the volume with an introduction that summarizes topical developments in law enforcement and penal politics including the 'prisonization' of American society and popular support for no tolerance approaches to crime. The fourteen essays that follow - six on trials and eight on prisons - discuss subjects ranging from the political ramifications of Captain Kidd's trials for piracy to a reading of South African prison memoirs and include treatments of prison films, courtroom dramas and works by Dickens, Shakespeare and Scott. The volume demonstrates powerfully how concepts of criminality are constructed and how literature participates in, and sometimes enhances, general discursive traditions of adversarial litigation and carcerality.