Why Amanda Knox Deserves Her $4 Million Book Deal (From Sadie Magazine)

by Nicole Trilivas

Posted on February 21st, 2012 by Nicole Trilivas

We can all form opinions, but most of us were not inside Amanda Knox’s theatrical Italian courtroom and have no clue—beyond media-sifted tidbits—what really happened during her trail. So I can’t sit here and claim that Amanda Knox is innocent, but I can wholeheartedly and unapologetically say that she has a right to tell us her side of the story.

What do we have if we don’t have our voice, our stories, our side? Without it, carnage and violence is meaningless. To present a point of view is part of art’s intrinsic purpose: To remake and replay and alchemize the horrors and unbearable weight of this often-sick world into something of worth or understanding. At the very least, our struggles and failures and the horrible things that happen need to be documented: So we avoid making the same mistakes. Or so we know we are not the first ones to make them. Or to never forget. Or to know you are not alone.

The ancient Greeks believed in catharsis: the idea that if you vicariously “experienced” an emotion through art, you would be purged of those emotions and not necessarily have (or secretly want) to experience them firsthand. This is why so many of their plays dealt with such extreme and grotesque ideas like murdering your own children or sleeping with your mother.

Of course what gets everyone up in arms is that Amanda Knox’s story is worth its weight in gold: she’s getting paid good money. But that’s because of who she is: a pretty girl. Her looks and gender were factors during her trail when the jurors were not sequestered and therefore exposed to the salacious media, and if her gender could be used against her then, why shouldn’t she get to use it for her now? People are up in arms because she’s capitalizing on it and being a good businesswoman. She didn’t give out any interviews when she was acquitted; perhaps she knew what her voice was worth?

Get riled up that Snooki has a book. Get ragingly mad that O.J. Simpson has a book called If I Did It. And get mad about this too. But it’s worth pointing out that before this whole ordeal started, Amanda Knox was a university student studying creative writing. Her goal in life may very well have been to write a book. Ever her sophomoric short stories on her MySpace page got crucified on theme and writing style (everyone’s a critic) during her trail. Every good English teacher will tell you to write what you know. Well, coming home to bloodshed, character assaults, lengthy trails, and years in a foreign prison are what Amanda Knox knows. And so she writes about it. And it is her right to. She has a right to tell us about it, and you don’t have to listen, but I dare you to turn away. But you won’t.

And that’s why she got such a hefty sum for her story: because her adversaries want to hear just as much as her supports do. And maybe that’s human nature and that’s okay.

In a perfect world, all art—especially non-controversial and universally appreciated art—would be rewarded so handsomely. But we don’t live in that world. Amanda Knox knows that, and so does Meredith Kercher—who’ll never get to tell her story.


Originally featured on Sadie Magazine