Spalding bookshop’s choice read

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Bookmark of Spalding has selected How I Got Into Art School (and out of prison) by William McLellan as its book of the week.

It’s 1972. William is a creative boy in a dead-end job, his dream of becoming an artist is fading fast.

So when his best friend hatches a plan to fund a year’s painting in Morocco, he jumps at the chance.

The only problem is, first he has to get through Franco’s fascist Spain with a suitcase of drugs.

Like most things in William’s life, the plan goes wrong and he is thrown into the notorious Modelo jail in Barcelona.

Abandoned by friends and family, unable to speak the language, surrounded by hardened criminals, lost hippies and brutal prison guards and with no idea of when, if ever, he will be released, he quickly spirals into despair.

It is only when he begins to secretly draw his visions and nightmares that William starts to deal with his remorse and self-hatred.

But it is the facing-up to long-repressed childhood memories of abuse, neglect and poverty that ultimately leads to his redemption... and freedom.