Greystone Books will publish Édith Blais' memoir of being kidnapped and held hostage for 450 days in Burkina Faso at the hands of a militant group.
Rob Sanders, publisher for Greystone Books in Canada, acquired world English rights from French language publisher Les Editions de l'Homme, which will publish the memoir in Quebec in January 2021 and in France in April 2021. Greystone will publish the English translation in October 2021.
In the late fall of 2018, Blais and her boyfriend, Luca Tacchetto, were traveling from Italy through France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania and Mali before arriving in Burkina Faso. They intended to pass through the country on their way to Togo to join a farming project. In December of 2018, they were abducted in an area of Burkina Faso known to be a stronghold for groups associated with Al Qaeda, including the group responsible for killing four American soldiers in Niger in 2017.
After 15 months as hostages, Blais and Tacchetto escaped and were found unharmed in Mali on March 13th, 2020. Upon returning home later that month, Blais focused on reuniting with her family and did not grant any interviews. The memoir, which is written by Blais and incorporates writings she composed while in captivity, will mark the first time the 35-year-old discusses her experience in detail since returning home to Canada.
Sanders said: “Greystone considers itself extremely fortunate to be publishing Edith Blais’ harrowing story which our editors are calling a powerful and moving literary narrative. Edith is a strong and positive force, a gifted creator. Her story, and this book, will surprise everyone when it is published."
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