The Weight of Sand by Edith Blais
“There, on the third day, was when we really understood what we had stumbled into. We weren't caught up with a bunch of petty thieves, we were in the clutches of a major organization that would ask our governments to pay ransoms for our release, or use us in a prisoner exchange.”
THE WEIGHT OF SAND
In January 2019, news outlets reported that a young Canadian woman and her Italian companion were presumed kidnapped while traveling in Africa’s Sahel region, a haven for Islamic terrorists.
Little was known about the pair’s fate until they reappeared in Mali more than one year later, having apparently escaped their captors.
Now, in The Weight of Sand, Edith Blais describes her harrowing hostage experience for the first time—and reveals that writing poetry in secret helped save her life.
Edith recounts the prolonged terror of her months as a hostage, enduring violent sandstorms, constant relocations, grueling hunger strikes, extreme isolation, and the unpredictability of her captors. She also shares the luminous poems she wrote in secret with a borrowed pen, which became a lifeline of creativity and one of the few possessions she smuggled out in her escape, strapped to her leg under her clothes.
What I thought
|Courtesy of Edith Blais, by Krystel V. Morin|
Edith Blais is a chef and self-taught writer and artist who chooses to lead a simple life. In 2019, she and her traveling companion, Luca Tacchetto, were taken hostage by an Islamic militant group in the Sahel region of Africa. Her writings during her fifteen months of captivity became the basis for her first book. Edith escaped her captors in March 2020 and currently lives in Sherbrooke, Quebec.