Today is the two year anniversary of the day Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight escaped from Ariel Castro’s home prison in Cleveland, OH. Two of the three–Berry and DeJesus–have written a memoir of the ordeal with Pulitzer Prize-winners Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan: Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland.
As was the case with other books about kidnapping and sexual assault–whether fictional (Room by Emma Donoghue) or a poetic memoir (The Other Side by Lacy M. Johnson)–I didn’t want to read this, because I knew it would be difficult and would make me uncomfortable.
Can you image how difficult it must have been to write? Or to live?
Berry kept a diary of sorts from the very beginning. If not in a notebook, then on napkins or scraps of paper. Initially she would record the many times a day Castro raped her. After a while, she stopped keeping track.
Amanda and Gina’s recollections of their kidnappings and their time in the house are clearly marked, and Jordan and Sullivan filled in the chapters with what the girls couldn’t know… what was happening beyond the house at 2207 Seymour Avenue. The result is a compelling, readable account of 10 years of hell and a full-range of emotions.
Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus took it easy on us.
Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland was released last week, and since that time, Berry, DeJesus, Jordan and Sullivan and their book have been interviewed, featured and reviewed through a variety of media outlets. Here’s a list of 20 if you’d like more information:
- ABC One Hour Primetime Special / Interview with Robin Roberts, 4/28
- ABC Good Morning America /4/27 and 4/28
- ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, 4/27
- ABC Nightline / 4/27
- Fresh Air / Interview, 4/29
- USA Today / Interview, 4/27
- People / First Serial, Interview, Second Cover; 4/22
- People.com / Feature on Gina, 4/22
- People.com / Recap of People Feature, 4/22
- People.com / Amanda & Gina Share Love for Life, 4/25
- People.com / Feature on Amanda, 4/24
- Associated Press / Review, 4/24
- Time.com / Review, 4/27
- Washington Post / Excerpt, 4/26
- Washington Post TV / Feature, 4/29
- Thomson-Reuters / Review, 4/27
- Bustle / Review, 4/29
- ABCNews.com / Mention, 4/22; Portion of Interview, 4/27
- Cleveland Plain Dealer / Interview, 4/28
- Cleveland Plain Dealer / Review, 4/27