After weeks of speculation that proved, in the end, well founded, comes the announcement that Knopf has bought the rights to the Iraq war story of Pvt. Jessica Lynch, who caught America's imagination back in March when the injured soldier was rescued from an Iraqi hospital by U.S. troops. She will tell her story with the aid of Pulitzer-winning former New York Times man Rick Bragg (see interview with him on p. 16); the book, to be called I Am a Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, will hit stores within two months. Announcement of the acquisition, from Amanda Urban at ICM for world rights, reportedly for $1 million to be divided between author and subject, was made by Knopf chief Sonny Mehta. There has been considerable speculation that the rescue was overblown in an attempt to get a strong human-interest story out of the war's early days—and that Lynch herself recalled little of the incident that put her in the hospital—but the publisher is obviously counting on public goodwill toward Lynch herself, and Bragg's considerable journalistic skills, to bring it off.
Volume 250 Issue 36 09/08/2003