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Cristina Riesen (Founder / We Are Play Lab)
More than career paths, I like to look at life trajectories. There are some books who will forever change who you are. When I was around 12 years old, my father brought home Henri Charriere's "Papillon". He told me that it was totally inappropriate for my age but he wanted me to read it so that I can understand what persistence and grit means and how important it is to learn to develop them. I did and I must say it was a life-changing experience on so many levels. Enlightening not only because of the extraordinary story and skilful storytelling but also because, now looking back, my father's gesture empowered me so much. You will not be surprised that persistence and grit are still my top skills, even today.
Henri Charrière, nicknamed Papillon, for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil's Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped... until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.
Charrière's astonishing autobiography, Papillon, was first published in France to instant acclaim in 1968, more than twenty years after his final escape. Since then, it has become a treasured classic--the gripping, shocking, ultimately uplifting odyssey of an innocent man who would not be defeated.
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