WHO: François Bizot
WHAT: FACING THE TORTURER
Published by Knopf October 26, 2012
WHERE: Author tour to Los Angeles,
New York, San Francisco
“Bizot bravely addresses the nature of genocide and the darkest heart of human nature.
“In 1971, French ethnologist François Bizot spent three harrowing months as a prisoner of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, accused of being a spy, before being released owing to the intervention of his interrogator, Comrade Duch. Bizot became one of the few ever to leave a Khmer Rouge prison alive.
“As commander of the Tuol Sleng prison, Duch was later responsible for the horrific torture and execution of many thousands branded enemies of the state by the genocidal Khmer regime. While Bizot’s previous book, The Gate, dealt with his captivity, this memoir focuses mainly on his return to Cambodia to testify at Duch’s trial for crimes against humanity in 2009 and includes transcripts of his testimony.
“Grappling with Duch’s incomprehensible brutality, Bizot’s intense philosophical reflections repeatedly circle back to the same questions about human capacity for evil and what allows a seemingly unremarkable man to become a mass murderer. Bizot demands that we face what he views as ‘the monster’s humanity’ and the potential for evil that lurks within us all.”
—Ingrid Levin, LIBRARY JOURNAL
“This memoir gives disturbing witness.”
—Gilbert Taylor, BOOKLIST
“An honest exploration of what it means to share moments of humanity with a man most people would consider inhuman.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Bizot raises profound and moving questions.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell and Antoine Audouard
Publicist for this title:
Kathy Zuckerman | 212-572-2105 | firstname.lastname@example.org