The sleep quilt

Chevalier, Tracy and Fine Cell Work

 London, Pallas Athene, 2017 978 1 84368 146 5 240 pages 

 I keep an eye out for new books by novelist Tracy Chevalier. Some are decidedly better than others but non-fiction, like quilting is a new venture for her. The reasons why are explained in the book.   Those of us who read Stitch Magazine will be familiar with the charity Fine Cell Work. Tracy commissioned a quilt from them to be included in an exhibition. The result is what this book is about. Prisoners who work for Fine Cell Work, were invited to submit a square for the quilt, around the topic of sleep. The squares are all moving, some are disturbing, all are original. I had never even thought about how difficult it must be to sleep ‘inside’. There are 63 squares – with a photograph of each in this little book, some accompanied by the prisoner’s story. 

Erica Marsden