AlphabetBook - 2004
In Thatcher's Britain, barely out of his teens, highly intelligent but illiterate and with a childhood of care homes and fostering behind him, Simon Austen is sent down for life for murdering his girlfriend. He did it but he doesn't know why - or maybe doesn't want to know why. Or both . . .
Then Simon makes an important decision to rehabilitate himself on his own terms. He learns to read and write; then, daringly, from his high security prison, begins an illicit correspondence with members of the opposite sex. Language suddenly takes on a new significance and the world opens up.
But what kind of relationships are possible for a man who has committed an appalling crime? As Simon puts it: What will she be like? And who will I become?
Through Simon's journey into himself, his search for answers, sometimes perilous and always unpredictable, we are forced to explore both our understanding of identity and our ambivalent attitudes to crime, justice and the possibility of redemption.