Michelle Knight will write a book on the 11 years she spent as a captive in the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro. Weinstein books will publish the as yet untitled memoir in spring 2014.
Knight was one of three women who were freed in a dramatic escape earlier this year. The other two, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, are writing a book about their experiences together with two award-winning journalists; a publisher for their book has not yet been announced.
Knight was the first of the three women Castro abducted; she was held prisoner by him for 11 years. She endured sexual assaults, beatings, and being chained in place. When Knight became pregnant, she was starved or beaten until she miscarried.
“I want to give every victim of violence a new outlook on life. Victims need to know that no matter how hard it rains in the darkness, they will have the strength and courage that God gave them when they were born to rise above and overcome any obstacle that stands in their way,” Knight said in a statement. “If you hold your head up high and have your feet firmly on the ground, you won’t let hell consume or define how you feel inside. We shall define ourselves not as victims but as victors, and this will lead us to peace.”
Knight, DeJesus and Berry are all thought to have kept diaries documenting their experiences in captivity.
Knight was 21, the eldest of the kidnapped women, when she was reported missing; Castro thought the petite Knight was younger. Her book will include her early life, her abduction and imprisonment, and her life in the present day.
Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Co., said, “This is an important story that needs to be told. Michelle’s hopeful outlook for the future is admirable and inspiring.”
Since her release, Knight has voiced support for families who hope their missing loved ones will come home; she handed out yellow balloons as the house where she had been held prisoner was razed.
Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts and was sentenced to serve life in prison plus 1,000 years. He was found hanged in his prison cell in September.