This memoir weaves past and present together to connect the pieces of Molhos childhood and adult life that shaped the man he would become. It explores the adage, love conquers all, revealing the inner workings that we all seek to understand. George was lucky to learn how to love from his family before his abduction, before his fathers cruel version of love was inflicted upon his young body and psyche. Later in life, love compels him to divulge all that happened on the mountainside where he left his innocence as a boy.
Its not about how hard we get hit; its about how much we can take and keep moving forward. Scarred is a memoir written by a survivor, intended to empower and embolden all who have suffered, have survived, and are ready to be set free.
This will be known as the book that set the literary genre of memoir free. Scarred reads like fiction while shattering the facade of make believe Molho becomes the victor of his past and his triumph is contagious.
Andrea Afra, Free Press Houston
In January 2012, having covered a Somali pirate trial in Hamburg for Spiegel Online International—and funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting—Michael Scott Moore traveled to the Horn of Africa to write about piracy and ways to end it. In a terrible twist of fate, Moore himself was kidnapped and subsequently held captive by Somali pirates. Subjected to conditions that break even the strongest spirits—physical injury, starvation, isolation, terror—Moore’s survival is a testament to his indomitable strength of mind. In September 2014, after 977 days, he walked free when his ransom was put together by the help of several US and German institutions, friends, colleagues, and his strong-willed mother.
Yet Moore’s own struggle is only part of the story: The Desert and the Sea falls at the intersection of reportage, memoir, and history. Caught between Muslim pirates, the looming threat of Al-Shabaab, and the rise of ISIS, Moore observes the worlds that surrounded him—the economics and history of piracy; the effects of post-colonialism; the politics of hostage negotiation and ransom; while also conjuring the various faces of Islam—and places his ordeal in the context of the larger political and historical issues.
A sort of Catch-22 meets Black Hawk Down, The Desert and the Sea is written with dark humor, candor, and a journalist’s clinical distance and eye for detail. Moore offers an intimate and otherwise inaccessible view of life as we cannot fathom it, brilliantly weaving his own experience as a hostage with the social, economic, religious, and political factors creating it. The Desert and the Sea is wildly compelling and a book that will take its place next to titles like Den of Lions and Even Silence Has an End.
Subcomandante Marcos is a spokesperson and strategist for the Zapatistas, an indigenous insurgency movement based in Mexico.
Paco Ignacio Taibo II is the author of numerous works of award-winning fiction and nonfiction, which have been published in many languages around the world. He lives in Mexico City.