This week the magazine is featuring a trio of articles about prisons, real and psychological. In Freed, but Scarred, Francesca Crozier-Fitzgerald describes the post-prison lives of three men who spent, among them, forty-three years in New York penitentiaries for crimes they did not commit. After proving their innocence, Jeffrey Deskovic, Kian Khatibi, and Fernando Bermudez have returned to a changed world of broken relationships and lost identities, struggling to find the assistance and understanding they need to overcome their pasts. In an accompanying photo essay, Life after Innocence, Dana Ullman presents intimate portraits of the three men and their families, still scarred by absences and regrets.
Finally, in Across Oceans, Haunted by Memories, Susan M. Lee reviews the novel The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, a tale of two Vietnamese families flung across the globe, chased by their war-era remembrances of traumas endured and wrongs perpetrated — at times, on each other. This debut novel by Aimee Phan (disclosure: Phan is a friend) reminds us of the tensions inherent in our strivings to remember the past, and yet overcome it — to seek truth, and yet find peace.
Victor Tan Chen is In The Fray‘s editor in chief and the coauthor of The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America.