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Posted : 2012-02-20 18:31
Updated : 2012-02-20 18:31

Student offered $4 mil. to write on her 4-year Italian prison diaries



Amanda Knox has a book deal. The young exchange student whose conviction in Italy and eventual acquittal on murder charges made headlines worldwide has an agreement with HarperCollins to tell her story, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

The 24-year-old Seattle resident, imprisoned for four years in Perugia, Italy, has not publicly discussed her ordeal beyond a brief expression of gratitude upon her release last October.

“Knox will give a full and unflinching account of the events that led to her arrest in Perugia and her struggles with the complexities of the Italian judicial system,” HarperCollins said in a statement Thursday.

“Aided by journals she kept during her imprisonment, Knox will talk about her harrowing experience at the hands of the Italian police and later prison guards and inmates. She will reveal never before-told details surrounding her case, and describe how she used her inner strength and strong family ties to cope with the most challenging time of her young life.”

The book, currently untitled, is tentatively scheduled for early 2013.

“Many accounts have been written of the Amanda Knox case, and countless writers and reporters have speculated on what role, if any, was played by Knox in that tragic and terrifying sequence of events,” HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement.

“No one has yet heard Amanda Knox’s own account of what happened, and this book will give Knox an opportunity to tell the story in full detail, for the first time. It will be the story of a crime and a trial, but also a moving account of a young woman’s struggle to cope with a nightmarish ordeal that placed her at the center of a media storm, and led to her imprisonment.”

Financial terms were not disclosed, but an official with knowledge of the negotiations said the deal was worth $4 million for world rights. The official was not authorized to discuss the negotiations and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Knox was represented by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose other clients include President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. Some 20 publishers were interested and Knox met with seven, all of whom submitted bids during a recent auction.

Burnham said that Knox, who studied creative writing, would work with a collaborator and that her book will cover her life in Perugia leading up to the murder of 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher, along with an account of the events surrounding the murder. Knox’s editor will be Claire Wachtel, whose other authors have included crime novelist Dennis Lehane, journalist Cokie Roberts and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.

“Claire has a great track record of working with high-profile figures,” Burnham said. “She’s a very sensitive, responsive editor who I think can work with someone like Amanda, who’s new to the experience.”

Publishers in recent years have shied from controversial defendants, but Burnham said he was deeply impressed by Knox when he met with her.

“The experience of actually sitting down in a room and talking for an hour, an hour and a half with Amanda made me realize this was a very mature, intelligent woman who had been through an extraordinary experience,” Burnham said.

“She’ll write a very thoughtful, reflective and serious book about what happened. And that moves this book away from the world of tabloids, the lurid side, to something more compelling and, in a way, more longstanding.”

Knox’s legal issues are not over. Earlier this week, Italian prosecutors asked the country’s highest criminal court to reinstate the murder convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Prosecutor Giovanni Galati said he is “very convinced” that Sollecito and Knox were responsible for the Nov. 1, 2007, stabbing death of Kercher, who shared an apartment with Knox in Perugia.

Kercher was found in a pool of blood. The appeals court in October said the guilty verdicts against the pair were not corroborated by any evidence, and that the court hadn’t proven they were in the house when Kercher was killed.
관련 한글 기사

빼어난 미모의 여대생, 친구 살해 의혹에도…

집단 성관계를 거부하는 친구를 살해한 혐의로 26년형을 선고 받은 뒤 4년 동안 법정 싸움을 통해 무죄 석방된 아만다 녹스(25)가 400만달러(약 45억원)에 회고록 출판 계약을 체결, 돈방석에 앉게 됐다.

언론재벌 루퍼트 머독 소유의 뉴스 코프 계열 출판사인 하퍼콜린스는 녹스와 회고록 출판 계약을 체결했다고 16일(현지시간) 밝혔다. 계약 금액에 대해 출판사 측은 함구했지만 뉴욕타임스는 약 400만달러에 이른다고 전했다. 녹스 회고록은 내년에 나올 예정이다.

출판사 측은 "녹스는 책을 통해 그간 알려지지 않은 사건의 세부 내용까지 공개한다"며 "길지 않은 삶을 살면서 겪었던 큰 시련을 어떻게 극복했는지 말해줄 것"이라고 전했다.

지난해 10월 무죄 판결을 받은 녹스지만 세간의 평가는'살인사건의 무고한 피해자', '법망을 용케 빠져나간 잔혹한 살인자'로 엇갈린다. 이 때문에 출판계에서는 회고록 출간에 거액을 투자할 가치가 있느냐는 논란이 있었지만 출판권을 따내기 위해 랜덤 하우스 계열의 크라운, 펭귄, 맥밀란 자회사인 세인트 마틴스 프레스, 사이먼앤슈스터 등 쟁쟁한 출판사들이 경합을 벌인 것으로 알려졌다.

출판계 일각에서는 녹스 사건에는 흥미를 불러일으키는 요소가 많아 회고록이 폭발적인 판매고를 기록할 것으로 보고 있다. 미국과 영국, 이탈리아 등 3개국 대학생들이 연루돼 세계적 주목을 받았던 당시 사건은 각국 언론들이 사건의 중심에 선 아만다의 뛰어난 외모를 부각하는 기사를 쏟아 내기도 했다

녹스는 워싱턴대에 다니다 이탈리아 페루자로 유학을 갔으며 2007년 룸메이트였던 영국 여대생 메러디스 커쳐를 살해한 혐의로 체포됐다. 이탈리아 검찰은 녹스가 남자친구 등 2명과 커쳐에게 집단 성행위를 요구하다 거절당하자 싸움을 벌이는 과정에서 살해한 것으로 보고 기소했으나 녹스는 지난해 10월 증거 불충분으로 무죄 석방됐다.


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