I’ve been side-tracked! An idea for a novel bit me while I was in the middle of the final term of the MA. I wrote 25-30,000 words, then finished the first draft last November. This all took me away from working on first person experiences for a while … but now I’m back, although mainly as part of the research for the second draft.
Spinning off the Blindsided work I created last year, the novel addresses sight loss and disability, aid to the third world, and issues of empowerment and control, self and identity. Adam, an ophthalmologist, goes to West Africa thinking he can make a difference, but struggles as he is overwhelmed by the extent of the need for eye care. Mid way through his time in West Africa he is taken hostage … so I’ve been reading ‘hostage literature’ and checking out information from organisations that specialise in the field too.
In this post I list the books I’ve found, and I’ll add thoughts as I read them. If you spot anything relevant that I’ve missed, let me know.
Middle East – Beirut
- Terry Waite, Archbishop’s envoy Taken on Trust
Long, meditative writing where Waite looks back on his past, interspersed with details of the kidnapping.
- John McCarthy, journalist, and Jill Morrell Some Other Rainbow
- Brian Keenan, journalist: An Evil Cradling
Africa – Somali Pirates
- Colin Freeman, journalist: Kidnapped
A well written account, mainly focussed on the day to day life as a hostage, with a couple of diversions looking at Somali politics, as well as the story of a sea captain also captured by pirates. A good quick read – you can tell it is written by a journalist. Freeman draws out key issues for hostages, looking at Stockholm syndrome, the issue of boredom on one hand while being on edge on the other, the way he began to appreciate it when nothing changed from day to day.
- Judith Tebbutt, on holiday, A Long Walk Home: One Woman’s Story of Kidnap, Hostage, Loss – and Survival- and Survival
- Amanda Lindhout A House in the Sky: A Memoir of a Kidnapping That Changed Everything
- Paul and Rachel Chandler, sailers, Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Gangsters