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Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly to write memoir

June 21, 2011 |  9:52 am

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut and Navy captain Mark E. Kelly, will write a memoir, to be published by Scribner at a yet-to-be-announced date.

The Associated Press reports that the book "will be an intimate chronicle of everything from their careers and courtship to the Jan. 8 tragedy when a gunman shot Giffords in the head during a political event in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed in the attack, and 12 others besides the congresswoman were wounded." The report continues:

"Since Jan. 8, it's been really touching to us to see how much support there is for Gabby and her recovery, and how much interest there is in how she's doing and her story," Kelly, who on Tuesday announced his retirement from the Navy and NASA, told the Associated Press during a recent interview from Texas.

"After thinking about it, and talking about it, we decided it was the right thing to do to put our words and our voices on paper and tell our story from our point of view."

Giffords and Kelly will collaborate with writer Jeffrey Zaslow, who helped Randy Pausch in penning "The Last Lecture" and Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger with his memoir, "Highest Duty." Kelly will be the principal collaborator, with Giffords adding some details. The two met in 2003 and were married in 2007.

Giffords, a Democrat, was elected to her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, then reelected in 2008 and 2010. She was holding a constituent meeting in a Safeway parking lot when she was shot in the head on Jan. 8 by Jared Lee Loughner. Loughner has since been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial.

On June 9, Giffords' Chief of Staff Pia Carusone told the Arizona Republic that Giffords' "communication skills have been impacted the most.... She's living. She's alive. But if she were to plateau today, and this was as far as she gets, it would not be nearly the quality of life she had before," Carusone said. "There's no comparison. All that we can hope for is that she won't plateau today and that she'll keep going and that when she does plateau, it will be at a place far away from here."

Giffords was released from a Houston hospital June 15; she has a 24-hour home healthcare provider as she continues her rehabilitation.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo (left): Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on May 17, from her Facebook page.

Photo (right): Mark E. Kelly on April 29, geared up for the space shuttle Endeavor flight before it was canceled. Credit: Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images


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