Readers almost certainly will be fascinated by Jaycee Lee Dugard's account of her 18 years in captivity when her memoir is released this summer. No doubt her publisher will reap a bounty of sales. The question is what Dugard will get out of it.
Now in her early 30s, she doesn't need the money. The Legislature approved a $20-million settlement for her and her family, in recognition of a parole officer's failure to properly check on her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, a previously registered sex offender. She doesn't need the fame either. She's been in the news in ways that would make anyone uncomfortable; hardly a person in the country doesn't know at least something about her imprisonment in a shed in a suburban backyard, sexually abused by Garrido, giving birth to her first child when she was 14.
These days, any strange or tragic event, especially if it is tinged with the salacious, is Internet fare. If it's sensational enough, that is followed by an instant ghostwritten book, and maybe a movie. Publicists and agents pound at the metaphorical door and sometimes the physical one and pressure even fairly sophisticated people into spilling it all. The process lacks dignity, and the results often aren't very good.