Ebury Publishing imprint WH Allen has acquired the first book by the mother of one of the Columbine killers.
This will be the first time that Sue Klebold, whose son Dylan, along with fellow student Eric Harris, killed 12 students and a teacher at his American high school on 20th April 1999 before killing himself, has spoken publicly about her experiences. Dylan Klebold and Harris, who also killed himself, also wounded 24 people during the shooting.
In A Mother’s Reckoning – Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, Klebold will examine whether she should have done anything differently with her son.
WH Allen said Klebold was prompted to write the book after a number of recent fatal shootings at educational establishments in America.
“While she has previously declined to publicly share her experiences, the devastating events at Newtown, UCSB, and most recently at Seattle Pacific University and Reynolds High School in Oregon have shown that the need for insight has never been more urgent,” said the publisher. “It has not been an easy decision for Sue Klebold to come forward after so many years of silence. But she has seen firsthand that sharing her story can help other parents—and she therefore feels a deep responsibility to broaden the circle of those who know it.
“Klebold has shielded herself from nothing, exhaustively exploring the depths of her memories, interviewing family members and friends, combing through her journals, and meeting with countless mental health experts in an attempt to understand how her child could have hurt so many—without her ever recognising anything was wrong. Klebold will never know if she could have prevented the events of Columbine, but her hope is that the insights she has gleaned from her experiences can help other families see the signs when their children need help.
“Although at times paralysed by her grief and remorse, for close to a decade Sue Klebold has become a passionate and vocal advocate working tirelessly to advance mental health awareness and intervention.”
Author profits from the book will be donated to research and charitable foundations focusing on mental health issues.
Ed Faulkner at WH Allen acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the book from Lance Fitzgerald at Crown Publishers, New York.
A Mother’s Reckoning will be published simultaneously with Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group at Penguin Random House in the US, on 16th February 2016.