Den of Lions

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

It is not uncommon for those who survive captivity to relate their experiences in print. Terry Anderson’s tale, however, is particularly poignant in that he was a noncontributory participant. He was taken captive because he could be, and not because of any action or belief on his part. Anderson was placed in jeopardy in the course of being in a particular place—an accident of personal propinquity.

Associated Press had assigned Anderson to cover the civil war in Lebanon in 1985. Civil wars are probably the most vicious of conflicts, and the Lebanese version was no exception to the rule. Anderson believed he was performing a useful function, and despite the personal risk he continued at his post. Admittedly, his personal life was in a shambles in consequence of his commitment to his professional career. Still, although one door closed with the decision to dissolve his marriage, another opened with his introduction to Madeleine Bassil, a Lebanese national of the Maronite Catholic persuasion who had recently returned to Beruit after a failed marriage. Anderson and Bassil became engaged and planned to marry once his own divorce was complete. Then, without any warning, Anderson was kidnapped by a Lebanese faction in pursuit of their own political agenda. Thus began his seven-year odyssey as a hostage at various locations throughout Lebanon.

DEN OF LIONS is an account of those years by Anderson and the woman who bore his child and ultimately became his wife. This is a candid account, not only of the conditions of Anderson’s captivity but also of the daily terror endured by his fiancee.