It's been a year now since Jaycee Dugard, the 11-year-old kidnapped on her way to school 18 years ago, was reunited with her family. As she celebrates that first anniversary she has announced that she will publish a memoir.
Dugard's book is scheduled to be published next year by Simon & Schuster. The publisher says the book will tell Dugard's story, from the time of her abduction up to the present. Simon & Schuster publisher and executive vice president Jonathan Karp, who has seen a draft of Dugard's writing, says, "When I read the pages, I was moved and inspired by the raw power of Jaycee Dugard's voice, her strength and her resilience."
Dugard was abducted in 1991 near her family's home in South Lake Tahoe in California. In a stunning turn of events, she was discovered last year living in the backyard of her alleged kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, with two young girls of her own whom she says Garrido fathered.
Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido have both been charged with kidnapping and rape and are now awaiting trial.
One of the most confounding aspects of Dugard's story is the ease with which Garrido seems to have concealed her presence, despite the fact that he was a convicted sex offender receiving regular visits from California state parole officers. One report indicates that parole officers actually spoke with Dugard during one of their visits but failed to follow up.
The state recently agreed to pay Dugard $20 million to settle charges that it failed to properly monitor her alleged captor.
Dugard, who is now 30, has spent the last year living with her daughters and her own mother in northern California. According to a family spokesperson, she has also been spending time writing in a journal. "She has a talent for [writing] and she wants to pursue it," says the spokesperson.
Some families with missing children view Dugard and her story as a symbol of hope. Dugard has also said that she would like to start a foundation for victimized children.
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.