Malala wins £2 m book deal

Hasan Suroor
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: Malala Yousafzai has signed a deal reported to be worth nearly £2 million to publish a book which, she said, would tell not only her own story but also that of “61 million children who can't get education.’’

“I hope this book will reach people around the world, so they realise how difficult it is for some children to get access to education,” she said.

In I am Malala , to be published in the autumn, the 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl will give a detailed account of the day she was shot by a Taliban militant in Swat Valley last October while on her way to school: how a gunman stopped her school bus, asked for her by name and then shot her in the head at point-blank range.

Malala is said to describe Tuesday, October 9, 2012 as “not the best of days as it was the middle of school exams” adding that “though as a bookish girl I don't mind them as much as my friends do.”

According to a draft excerpt trailed in the British media, she writes: “I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday. It was Tuesday, October 9, 2012, not the best of days as it was the middle of school exams, though as a bookish girl I don’t mind them as much as my friends do. We’d finished for the day and I was squashed between my friends and teachers on the benches of the open-back truck we use as a school bus. There were no windows, just thick plastic sheeting that flapped at the sides and was too yellowed and dusty to see out of.”

Her publishers, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, described it as “the inspiring story of her determination not be intimidated by extremists.”

Malala, who now lives in Birmingham and attends a British school, said: “I want to tell my story, but it will also be the story of 61 million children who can't get education. I want it to be part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school. It is their basic right.”’

Malala, who was targeted for her campaign for girls’ education, underwent extensive surgery in a Birmingham hospital to rebuild her skull which was badly damaged in the attack.

There was apparently heavy bidding for the book with Weidenfeld and Nicolson security rights for Britain and the Commonwealth and Little Brown for the rest of the world.



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