Former Iraq PoW Jessica Lynch signs $1 million book deal

JESSICA LYNCH, the former PoW whose capture and rescue from an Iraqi hospital made her a US celebrity, has signed a book deal that will put her on the way to becoming a millionaire.

“Many folks have written, expressing their support for me and for the thousands of other soldiers who serve their country,” Lynch said yesterday.

“I feel I owe them all this story, which will be about more than a girl going off to war and fighting alongside her fellow soldiers. It will be a story about growing up in America.”

US military doctors have said it was unlikely Lynch would remember the events of her capture.

I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, co-written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Bragg, is scheduled to come out in mid-November with a first printing of around 500,000 copies, said publisher Alfred Knopf.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but a source close to the negotiations said that Lynch and Bragg will divide a $1 million (£637,000) advance.

Lynch received a medical discharge last week from the US Army, making her eligible to pursue book and film deals.

The 20-year-old suffered multiple broken bones and other injuries when her maintenance company was ambushed in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah in March.

Her rescue on April 1 made a celebrity out of Lynch, who joined the army to get an education and become a kindergarten teacher. She returned home to Palestine, West Virginia, in July to a hero’s welcome after a long stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington.

“I am feeling better every day, and all the good wishes of the many who have written have certainly kept my spirits up,” she said.

“I am walking with crutches, but my doctors tell me that as I gain strength I will be able to walk on my own again soon. I am looking forward to those first steps.”

Bragg, who has written several books, resigned from The New York Times in May after being suspended over a story that carried his byline but was reported largely by a freelance journalist.

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