Nothing could make me want to read a memoir by 16-year-old Justin Bieber. Nor am I interested in Demi Moore’s life story. Or Anne Heche’s, or Laura Bush’s, or basically 90 percent of the famous folks who have released autobiographies in recent years. But Jaycee Lee Dugard? Yep, that is a memoir I would like to read. If you remember, Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 at age 11 and was found last August after being held captive for 18 years. She lived in a series of sheds and tents in the backyard of her captor, Phillip Garrido, whom she was routinely coerced into having sex with—she bore two of his children. It’s a horrifying, fascinating story. I want to know how Jaycee lived for those 18 years. What thoughts ran through her head. How she handled such an unthinkable situation. Hers is a story that shows just how resilient human beings can be, as Jaycee is readjusting to the normal world and starting a new life for herself.
This book could actually be fantastic. Simon & Schuster’s publisher says of it, “When I read the pages, I was moved and inspired by the raw power of Jaycee Dugard’s voice, her strength and her resilience.”
But I do also have a beef with this project. I thoroughly believe that writing about something can be one of the most effective ways to process and heal from an experience. Buy Jaycee was captive for 18 years—and was only freed last August. It feels like it would take years and years of therapy for her to actually be able to write about her ordeal. Doesn’t it feel a little soon to be taking on a book project?
Also, here’s hoping they give Jaycee a talented ghostwriter to work with. Sheesh.