Memoirs

Colombia's Hostage Lit

Kidnappings were so rampant in Colombia for so long that former hostages have become celebrities of sorts. Now, ex-captives of Colombian revolutionaries reintegrate into society by quickly churning out a memoir. The books run the gamut of subjects, from the mind numbing boredom of captivity to the sheer terror of a shootout, from abusive guards to romance blossoming in the rainforest. The most compelling title goes to The Love That Kidnapping Kills, a recounting of one spouse's realization that her husband had fallen in love with a fellow prisoner while in chains in the jungle for six years. But the juiciest tale to have been released is Out of Captivity. Written by three American military contractors, the trio detail the brutal conditions and do not pull their punches when reflecting on their fellow famous captive, Ingrid Betancourt. Betancourt, a celebrity in France and former presidential candidate in Colombia, "hoarded food, books and a radio and decided bathing schedules for the hostages."