Never mind its faults. Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail, by Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi is going to sell well. It’s already a runaway bestseller in France, where it debuted in 1999 as La Prisoniere.
As far as memoirs go, this one is sensational – literally. It’s got fairy-tale royal life. It’s got a political coup. It’s got deprivation and suffering during a decades-long prison sentence. It’s even got film written all over it (Talk Miramax is the publisher, after all).
The book opens with a preface by co-author Fitoussi who waxes about seeing this mysterious, beautiful woman from afar at a Paris party. They become friends, Oufkir needs to get her story out to “exorcise the painful past” so Fitoussi drops everything to transcribe it for her. Thus, Stolen Lives begins.
Malika Oufkir, whose first name means “queen” in Arabic, was presciently (and later, ironically) named. As the first child of a powerful and affluent family, she was indeed the “little queen” in the eyes of her father, General Muhammad Oufkir. …[click here for more]
Published: 2001 (United States)