Footfalls in Memory

Terry Waite, Author Doubleday Books $21.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-385-48862-4
In 1987, Waite, a diplomat, humanitarian and hostage negotiator, was himself taken captive in Lebanon while trying to negotiate the release of hostages on behalf of the Church of England. He was held in Lebanon for 1760 days. Following his release, he wrote Taken on Trust, a memoir of his experience. His new book is an anecdotal account of the method that Waite used to endure his captivity. A voracious reader, Waite was not allowed to read during his first year as a hostage. He spent much of that time writing his autobiography in his head. As he was forced to depend increasingly on his memory, Waite ""traveled back across the years to recall the books I had read during my life."" At the end of his first year in captivity, Waite's captors began to honor his request for books, bringing him titles ranging from Diseases of the Middle Ear to Dr. Spock's book on raising babies. In these reflections, Waite records passages from the books he remembered from his past and the ones he was given to read during his captivity, and he recalls those he wished to be able to read during that time. Waite's autobiography through reading makes clear not only his own will to survive a torturous period in his life but also the power of the written word--whether Joyce or the Gospel of John--to shape life and provide a powerful form of consolation. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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