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N. Carolina prison author challenges limits on his writing

Victor Martin has been writing since he was a child, but he didn't realize it could be a career until he became a convict.

A few years ago, Martin became a published author, writing four novels while lying in his bunk in a state prison in Elizabeth City. His books, which feature a high-rolling criminal named Unique, have a following among readers of what is known as "urban fiction," a popular literary genre characterized by explicit tales of inner-city crime life. Martin's books are available on Amazon.com.

But Martin says prison officials are shutting him down, saying his novels violate a policy that bars inmates from conducting business behind bars.

Martin, a 32-year-old habitual felon with several theft-related convictions, says the policy violates his right to free speech. Martin's attorneys are challenging the policy, which they say prison officials have used to confiscate Martin's manuscripts and discipline him for writing.

Read the full story at newsobserver.com.

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