Sunday, 22 April 2007

Gill Hicks' One Unknown, which recounts her experience of being blown up in the July 2005 London bombings, and her recent recovery process, will be launched in Australia, her native country, on Tuesday.

The book's title comes from her identification immediately following the explosions as 'One unknown, estimated female 1960'.

"How insulting is that?" Hicks comments now. Now that she's got her life back, minus the legs that were so badly damaged they had to be amputated. "It's great to be alive!" she says.

Hicks, 39, still works in London as head of curation at Britain's Design Council. Her husband, Joe Kerr, 48, who she married after recovering from the event, is head of critical and historical studies at London's Royal College of Art.

Most striking about Hicks' book, it would seem (having not read it), is her attitude toward the young Muslim men who detonated the explosive devices on 7 July 2005.

"I cannot hate the person who's done this to me; the cycle must end with me."

"I'm compelled to understand — to offer an open heart, to try to hear and ask, 'Why?'"

Which is truly remarkable.

When you compare Hicks' attitude with the outrage aimed at Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, you have to admire her. Fifty-two people died in the London attacks. In Virginia, 32 people died.

Hicks is featured in the Sunday magazine, which is a supplement with The Sunday Telegraph, News Corp's weekend tabloid.

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