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Kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard's memoir tells of ordeal of giving birth at 13

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Two years after escaping the captivity that hijacked her youth, Jaycee Dugard looks to a pine cone as a link to life before her horror and a harbinger of a brighter future.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Two years after escaping the captivity that hijacked her youth, Jaycee Dugard looks to a pine cone as a link to life before her horror and a harbinger of a brighter future.

At the time of her kidnapping, the pine cone "was the last thing I touched. You know, the last grip on me. Now, it's -- it's a symbol of hope and new beginnings. And that -- there is life after something tragic," Dugard, 31, said in an excerpt from her upcoming interview with Diane Sawyer released Thursday by ABC News.

The release of the excerpt is part of a publicity blitz leading up to Tuesday's publication of Dugard's book and audio book -- which she will narrate herself. Sawyer has been promoting her exclusive interview with Dugard on "The View" and "Good Morning America" this week; it will air Sunday evening.

Dugard said after kidnapper Phillip Garrido downed her with a stun gun in 1991, she tried to scoot into some bushes and felt something sticky before passing out.

After her 18 years of captivity, enduring habitual rape and bearing two daughters by Garrido in a hidden backyard compound outside Antioch, Calif., she found herself asking people to bring her pine cones without fully knowing why.


Then she realized that a pine cone was the sticky thing she remembers touching before she was whisked from her South Lake Tahoe, Calif., neighborhood to the home where Garrido and his wife Nancy forced the 11-year-old girl into sexual bondage.

Dugard told Sawyer that she now carries a pine cone charm on a necklace to remind her of the hope that helped her through 18 years of captivity and newfound freedom.

An image of a pine cone also adorns the minimalist cover of her memoir, titled "A Stolen Life," due out July 12. The two-hour television special with Sawyer is her only planned media appearance before the book's release.

In another interview excerpt, Dugard recalls the Garridos telling her she was pregnant with her first daughter when she was 13. They locked her in a soundproof room in the backyard when she went into labor, and according to ABC News, Dugard writes in her memoir that giving birth was the most painful experience of her life.

"And then I saw her. She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn't alone anymore," Dugard said.

After the birth of her second daughter in 1997, Dugard created a school in the backyard, supported with only the fifth-grade education she had attained before her kidnapping.

"In my long career ... I have never met a young woman like her, I have never heard a story like hers, and I have never heard anybody who comes through it with such radiant spirit," Sawyer said in a Wednesday appearance on "The View." ABC News is billing the Dugard interview as a "landmark television event," though the program will likely find itself competing for attention with coverage of Casey Anthony and her acquittal on charges that she murdered her daughter.

Dugard's yet-to-be released memoir is already a top 10 bestseller on Amazon.com, an Internet-age bellwether for literary hype. Publisher Simon & Schuster said the memoir and accompanying audio book are also generating noteworthy international buzz.


"We've heard from almost every media outlet around the world," said Tracey Guest, a spokeswoman for the publisher. "The anticipation and the interest is quite high."

Since being freed in August 2009, Dugard has lived in seclusion in Northern California with her daughters and mother, Terry Probyn.

She received a $20 million state settlement for parole agents' repeated failures to find her at the Garrido home.

Last month, Phillip Garrido entered Corcoran State Prison in Kings County, Calif., to serve a sentence of 431 years to life. Nancy Garrido entered Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, Calif., where she is serving 36 years to life.

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