Dead Man Walking is a nonfiction book by Sister Helen Prejean that was first published in 1993. It presents Sister Helen’s account of her activities in Louisiana on behalf of crime victims’ families and to abolish the death penalty. The book was a national bestseller and was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Dead Man Walking was the basis for a 1995 film adaptation directed by Tim Robbins and staring Susan Sarandon, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Sister Helen.


Read the detailed chapter-by-chapter Summary & Analysis or the Full Book Summary of Dead Man Walking.


See a complete list of the characters in Dead Man Walking and in-depth analyses of Sister Helen Prejean, Elmo Patrick Sonnier, Robert Willie, and Vernon Harvey.

Literary Devices

Here is where you will find analysis of the key themes, motifs, and symbols in Dead Man Walking.


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Quick Quizzes

Test your knowledge of Dead Man Walking with quizzes about every section, major characters, themes, symbols, and more.

Deeper Study

Go further in your study of Dead Man Walking by reading background information about Sister Helen Prejean and her memior as well as mini essays on key topics.