Curator Reviews

1969 Book Club

Twice made into a movie, Henri Charrière’s Papillon is partially based on his own experience of incarceration and escape from a penal colony in French Guiana. Convicted of a murder he claimed he didn’t commit, Charrière made his escape in 1933, and eventually wound up living with an Indian tribe in Colombia before being captured and sent back to French Guiana where he was placed into solitary confinement. He was pardoned of murder in 1970. Although many details have been challenged, and Charrière only ever claimed that 75% of the book was true, it has remained in print ever since.

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