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The Twisting Lane

Tony Parker

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Few crimes provoke such outrage and upset as the sex offence, making the subject – including the problems it poses to our society and criminal justice system – a natural one for sociologist Tony Parker, whose work consistently shed light into dark corners of human behaviour.

The Twisting Lane, first published in 1969, presents the testimonies of eight men aged between 20 and 70 who had been convicted – most of them repeatedly – for eight different types of offence, from assault or rape of adults or minors, to indecent exposure and ‘living on immoral earnings’. Each man offers, in his own words, his personal story and self-perception.

‘A remarkable achievement… almost every paragraph is poignant and revealing.’ New Statesman


Tony Parker was born in Stockport on June 25 1923, the son of a bookseller. His mother died when he was 4. He began to write poems and plays in his late teens. Called up to military service early in the Second World War he declared himself a conscientious objector and, in lieu, was sent to work at a coal-mine…

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