OVERRIDE

Picking Cotton

Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo

St. Martin's Griffin

In 1984, Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and because she had studied her attacker's face intently during the assault, she later identified Ronald Cotton as her rapist with certainty. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken—that he was innocent—but Jennifer's positive identification was the evidence that compelled a jury to put him behind bars.

After eleven years in prison, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face.  They forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives.

In their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge ideas about memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

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  • Watch the trailer for Picking Cotton

    Book trailer for the unforgettable true story of an unlikely friendship forged between a woman and the man she misidentified as her attacker and sent to prison for eleven years. In their new book, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton recount the harrowing details of their tragedy, challenging our ideas about memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Picking Cotton

"Few stories of wrongful convictions have happy endings, but the one told by Ronald Cotton and Jennifer Thompson-Cannino is far different.  It is the powerful account of violence, rage, redemption, and, ultimately, forgiveness."
 —John Grisham
"The story of Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton, as told in first-person voices in this gripping, well-written book, is exceptional."
St. Petersburg Times
“Even the most cynical reader will be impressed with Cotton’s resilience and grace.”
The Washington Post
Picking Cotton is the nonfiction title you must not overlook this year. It is as compelling as any fiction, yet the truth at its core will move you to tears.”
The Louisville Courier-Journal
"Picking Cotton is ultimately an uplifting story of hope."
—The Charlotte Observer

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo

  • JENNIFER THOMPSON-CANNINO lives in North Carolina with her family. RONALD COTTON also lives with his wife and daughter North Carolina. ERIN TORNEO is a Los Angeles-based writer. She was a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts Nonfiction Fellow. The authors received the 2008 Soros Justice Media Fellowship for this title.
  • Jennifer Thompson-Cannino
  • Ronald Cotton
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Available Formats and Book Details

Picking Cotton

Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

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