Quin, Mary

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Quin, Mary


Dual citizen of New Zealand and the United States. Education: Attended Northwestern University; Harvard University, M.B.A., 1988. Hobbies and other interests: Women's rights.


Agent—Saxton Speakers Bureau. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer and entrepreneur. Has also served as an executive member of the Eastman Kodak Company and Xerox Corporation as well as a member of the United States' State Department's delegation to Northern Ireland.


Kidnapped in Yemen: One Woman's Amazing Escape from Captivity, Lyons Press (Guilford, CT), 2005.


Mary Quin graduated from Harvard Business School in 1988, where she received her M.B.A. She is a dual citizen of New Zealand and the United States, and she has served as an executive for Xerox Corporation, as a public speaker, and as a women's activist. In December 1998, while traveling in Yemen, she was kidnapped and held hostage by an Islamic militant group seeking the release of several of their captured members. After this experience, Quin wrote Kidnapped in Yemen: One Woman's Amazing Escape from Captivity, which was published by Lyons Press in 2005.

Kidnapped in Yemen details Quin's abduction, her escape, and the events following her return to the United States. In this captivity narrative, Quin constructs a timeline of events that begins with her preparation for traveling to Yemen and concludes with her reflections on her experience as a hostage in the Middle East and her resulting life choices. Quin stated in an article for the Harvard Business School Bulletin: "Coming so close to death was a wake-up call … it made me reevaluate how I wanted to spend the rest of my life." Quin provides readers with a great amount of personal information, such as her emotional state throughout the kidnapping, her journey home to New Zealand, various diary entries, and her subsequent relationship with Ray Kaufman. Daniel Pipes, in a review for the Middle East Quarterly, observed: "Through assiduous press research plus personal investigations," Quin "comes up with a coherent account of the tensions that culminated in her seizure." The text includes detailed descriptions of Quin's traveling companions, who were also victims of the attack, as well as a report of her return trip to Yemen, where she revisited the place of their capture. Quin's personal research into the incident comprises a large portion of the twenty-two-chapter book, and Booklist contributor Deborah Donovan noted that Quin not only describes those responsible for the kidnapping but also "their subsequent trial, their motives, and their prior political activities" in her efforts to understand the event. Peter Clark's review for the British-Yemeni Society Web site reported: "Her approach, uncluttered by the baggage of Yemen scholarship, makes her observations fresh and persuasive. She writes with modest confidence and her account is a unique contribution to studies of contemporary Yemen and the wider canvas of international terrorism." Clark also concluded that Kidnapped in Yemen is "altogether a remarkable book."



Booklist, May 15, 2005, Deborah Donovan, review of Kidnapped in Yemen: One Woman's Amazing Escape from Captivity, p. 1621.

Middle East Quarterly, January 1, 2006, Daniel Pipes, review of Kidnapped in Yemen, p. 90.

Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2005, review of Kidnapped in Yemen, p. 157.


British-Yemeni Society Web site,http://www.al-bab.com/bys/ (April 20, 2008), review of Kidnapped in Yemen.

Harvard Business School Bulletin Web site,http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/bulletin/ (February, 2002).

Saxton Speakers Bureau Web site,http://www.saxton.com.au/ (April 20, 2008), author profile.

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