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The Sun Does Shine

How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection)

Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin; Foreword by Bryan Stevenson

St. Martin's Press

The Sun Does Shine Download image

ISBN10: 1250205794
ISBN13: 9781250205797


288 Pages



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An Oprah's Book Club Selection

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.


Praise for The Sun Does Shine

“How Hinton survived those long years is a story of resilience and imagination, of faith and the support of his mother and friends. He speaks of his rage over his conviction, and of ultimately coming to forgive those who wronged him.”—The New York Times

"An important story and an inspiring one . . . Hinton shows readers how he held onto his faith, created friendships and sustained hope throughout his fight for freedom. While Hinton’s optimism and perseverance are inspiring to anyone who reads The Sun Does Shine, the importance of this memoir lies in its account of one man’s suffering at the hands of racial bias within the American criminal justice system."—The Denver Post

"Illuminating and emotionally powerful, simple and complex, and destined to become a classic in American prison literature."—The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“This story reads like an epic novel and it is all true . . . You will, throughout the book, try to imagine yourself—falsely accused, and in a 5-by-7 cell for 30 years. [Hinton] is a remarkable storyteller and when you read it you’ll be swept away.”—Oprah Winfrey

“Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposing a racist system in South Africa. Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row because a racist system still exists in America. Both emerged from their incarceration with a profound capacity to forgive. They are stunning examples of how the most horrendous cruelty can lead to the most transcendent compassion. The Sun Does Shine is both a cautionary tale for all who think that a great nation can easily forget its past and inspiring proof of the inability to condemn a man's capacity for hope, love, and joy. An amazing and heartwarming story, it restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“An urgent, emotional memoir from one of the longest-serving condemned death row inmates to be found innocent in America . . . Woven into vivid descriptions of life behind bars are flashbacks to the author’s childhood, court transcripts, police documents, news clippings, and correspondence that reveal the roles racism, poverty, and fear played in creating a deeply biased criminal justice system that punishes the poor and people of color . . . A heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about truth, justice, and the need for criminal justice reform.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A troubling, moving, and ultimately exalting journey through the decades Hinton lived under the threat of death while an unjust system that refused to acknowledge mistakes failed him repeatedly . . . Even more powerful than the crushing terror of serving a death sentence while innocent are Hinton’s refusal to be diminished by it and his unwavering commitment to forgiveness. Lighting unfathomable places, Hinton’s gripping story asks readers to do the same.”—Booklist, starred review

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin; Foreword by Bryan Stevenson

ANTHONY RAY HINTON spent nearly thirty years on death row for crimes he didn’t commit. Released in April 2015, Hinton now speaks widely on prison reform and the power of faith and forgiveness. He is the author of the memoir The Sun Does Shine with Lara Love Hardin. He lives in Alabama.