I was a student in Amy Friedman’s memoir class at UCLA when she’d mentioned having married someone in prison, but hadn’t elaborated on it. I was intrigued by the fact that this attractive and intelligent woman had been caught up in that kind of life situation. When she told us that she’d published Desperado’s Wife, a memoir of that time in her life, I had to read it. It was an eye-opener to the world of prisons and prisoners, a well-written and brilliant must-read book that explores the prison system of rules to control and punish not only prisoners, but also their families. Friedman’s love for a man convicted of murder becomes an obsessive quest to release him on parole and into a normal married life with her. She bases her feeling for him on past romantic choices gone wrong and her parents’ near-perfect life-time love relationship. But obsession overtakes love in the end, when Friedman succeeds in freeing the man she loves, but loses him when he can’t adjust to his freedom.