The Prisoner and the Writer

Written by Heather Camlot, published by Groundwood, 2022

Traduit en Français (Isatis) "Le prisonier et l'écrivain" et en Coréen 

Written in verse, this true story about the Dreyfus Affaire is published in time for the 125th anniversary of  J’Accuse …! by Émile Zola. It acts as a reminder that a person committed to truth, justice and equality must stand up and speak out against prejudice for themselves — and for others.

Commended by the Junior Library Guild

"An affecting account of the Dreyfus Affair that highlights the importance of acting against injustices."  STARRED REVIEW, Foreword

"One moment the artwork feels like that of Raoul Dufy - almost dreamy - and the next it has a harsher, more journalistic loo. The text, in turn, alternates between stark, abbreviated style and a more lyrical, emotional one."  Michael Rosen, New York Times

“Camlot’s brief, poetic text emphasizes the horrible conditions under which Dreyfus was imprisoned, the rampant anti-Semitism prevalent in France, and the personal consequences Zola suffered for his defense of Dreyfus. … Casson’s pastel illustrations … emphasize setting details and feature numerous views of the characters that emphasize their strongly felt emotions." CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Illustrated in dominating tones of black, blue, and red, it’s the occasional bursts of yellow depicting sources of light that remind us that hope is still alive, even during the darkest of times. … A soul-stirring story that is just as moving visually, The Prisoner and the Writer is well worth the read, and is a great introduction to developing young readers’ critical thinking skills." Montreal Review of Books

"Short, forceful verses from Camlot (What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows?) pair with textured portraiture and landscapes by Casson (Helen’s Birds)—oil pastel monoprints with soft pastel—to pull readers into this story based on France’s Dreyfus affair. " Publishers Weekly