Thursday, August 22, 2013

the last book I ever read (Brendan I. Koerner's The Skies Belong to Us, excerpt eleven)

from Brendan I. Koerner's The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking:

In October 1981 Holder burned his unfinished memoirs in the fireplace of his room—dozens of handwritten pages went up in smoke. Shortly thereafter he left the château without saying goodbye and checked himself back into the psychiatric clinic in Rambouillet. The count, who had treated Holder like a member of his own family, never heard from him again.

Holder spent over a year at the Rambouillet clinic, where his therapy focused on helping him deal with his memories of combat. He was discharged in early 1983 and returned to Paris, where he begged old friends for money. One of those friends invited him to a dinner party, where Holder met a sharp-tongued journalist named Violetta Velkova, a six-time divorcée a dozen years his senior. The leftist Velkova, who was paralyzed on one side of her body due to a stroke, instantly fell for Holder, whom she adored for having embarrassed the United States in such dramatic fashion. The two instantly became lovers as well as colleagues; Holder took charge of lugging his new girlfriend’s photography equipment and typewriter from one assignment to the next.

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