Authors/Film & TV

Published on June 7th, 2021 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


The Art of Cinematic Storytelling is Celebrated With ‘This Life’ by Quntos KunQuest

I’ve not been reading for enjoyment for quite some time…perhaps since I started this gig in 2012…so many stories and so little time. But something made me stop and take a look at a novel called This Life which is the first novel by a convict named Quntos KunQuest and I’m glad I did. Told as only someone on the inside can and written with such cinematic detail that you are transported into a different space and there’s an emotional connection made with the characters. While the storyline may not be for everyone, if you are a fan of the craft of storytelling then This Life is a must have and Quntos KunQuest is one to watch. Check out the official line on the novel below:

This Life is the debut novel of Quntos KunQuest, a man currently incarcerated at  Louisiana’s infamous Angola penitentiary. His story reveals the inner  lives and daily frustrations of the inmates at Angola, told in a voice—a  flow—that is at turns enraged, insightful, cutting, soulful, and poetic.

Lil Chris is just nineteen when he arrives at Angola as an AU—an  admitting unit, a fresh fish, a new vict. He’s got a life sentence  with no chance of parole, but he’s also got a clear, sharply attuned  mind—one that picks up quickly on the details of the system, his  fellow inmates, and what he can do to claim a place at the top. When he meets Rise, a mature inmate who’s already spent years in the system, and whose composure and raised consciousness command the respect of the other prisoners, Lil Chris learns to find his way in a system bent on repressing every means he has to express himself. 

Lil Chris and Rise channel their questions, frustrations, and pain into rap, and This Life flows with the same cadence that  powers their charged verses. It pulses with the heat of impassioned inmates, the  oppressive daily routines of the prison yard, and the rap contests that bring the men of the  prison together. 

This Life is told in a voice that could only belong to a man who’s lived it—a  clipped, urgent, evocative voice that surges with anger, honesty, playfulness, and a deep  sense of ugly history. Angola started out as a plantation—and, as this novel makes clear,  black inmates are still in a kind of enslavement there. This Life is an important debut that commands our attention with the vigor, dynamism, and raw, consciousness-expanding  energy of this essential new voice. 

Quntos KunQuest was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1976. Since 1996, he has been  incarcerated at the Louisiana State Prison in Angola, Louisiana. He is a musician, rapper, visual  artist, and novelist.


This Life | 978-1-57284-282-3 | 5.5 × 8.5 | 264 pp.  

Trade Paper | Fiction | June 8, 2021 | $18


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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