I recently saw this announcement on Publisher’s Marketplace:
Mother of Dylan Klebold, one of Columbine High School shooters, Sue Klebold’s story, inviting readers into the very private struggle of the last fifteen years as she and her family have tried to understand the events of that terrible day and the role they ultimately played in it, with the hope that the insights she has gleaned can help other families see the signs when their children need help, to Roger Scholl at Crown, by Laurie Bernstein at Side by Side Literary Productions (world), with W.H. Allen publishing in the UK.
It’s rare that you hear the perpetrator’s side of the story when it comes to crime and violence. How many memoirs are written from the victim’s point of view? Since Klebold can’t speak for himself, his mother has to serve as proxy. The Publisher’s Marketplace entry suggests that Sue Klebold will write about where the family may have gone wrong. To me, this is so, so rare. Personal responsibility is sorely lacking; we are hesitant to blame humans and would rather blame society, the media, or other such faceless organizations. Of course situations are complicated; there’s no one place to lay blame for the Columbine shooting. But I am eager to hear Sue Klebold’s side of the story.
It looks like ultimately she wants the book to serve some good. Could her story help other families who are struggling with behavior or psychological issues in their children? I hope so.
It also brings up a bigger story about mothers. We give credit to mothers who end up with successful adult children, but shun those whose children have gone down a wayward path.
Can a book like this bring some closure to those who were affected? It seems that silence does victims a disservice. Might it be healing to read her words?
What do you think about this book? Will you read it? What would you hope to get from it?