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I Was Amelia Earhart (1996)

by Jane Mendelsohn

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7131725,715 (3.48)59
In this brilliantly imagined novel, Amelia Earhart tells us what happened after she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared off the coast of New Guinea one glorious, windy day in 1937. And she tells us about herself. There is her love affair with flying ("The sky is flesh") . . . . There are her memories of the past: her childhood desire to become a heroine ("Heroines did what they wanted") . . . her marriage to G.P. Putnam, who promoted her to fame, but was willing to gamble her life so that the book she was writing about her round-the-world flight would sell out before Christmas. There is the flight itself -- day after magnificent or perilous or exhilarating or terrifying day ("Noonan once said any fool could have seen I was risking my life but not living it"). And there is, miraculously, an island ("We named it Heaven, as a kind of joke"). And, most important, there is Noonan . . .… (more)
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» See also 59 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Fictional reconstruction of the last flight and the survival of both she and her copilot on a deserted island. I found this an excellent quick read. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Jun 29, 2019 |
Imagine if Amelia tells us what happened after she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared off the coast of New Guinea in 1937.
  MasseyLibrary | Oct 14, 2018 |
fiction that she lived on desert island w/ navigator — as lovers rest of life — okay

In this brilliantly imagined novel, Amelia Earhart tells us what happened after she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared off the coast of New Guinea one glorious, windy day in 1937. And she tells us about herself.
  christinejoseph | Mar 22, 2016 |
This is my favorite book of all time. I can't really explain why, it just is. So beautiful. Maybe I just read it at the right time, in the right place. ( )
1 vote KelAppNic | Jan 26, 2016 |
So lyrical, almost like verse. If you could read the ocean, this is how it would read. Beautiful simplicity with the perfect marriage of words. This is my very favorite book of all time. Not because of the story, characters or outcome; but, because of the dance of it all. ( )
1 vote CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Ms. Mendelsohn has chosen to use the bare-boned outlines of the aviator's life as an apmature for a poetic meditation on freedom and love and flight.... Ms. Mendelsohn invests her story with the force of fable. She has invented in these pages a heroine who may bear little resemblance to the real-life Amelia Earhart, but who remains, nonetheless, every bit the heroine she dreamed of becoming.
 
Past and present, fact and fiction, first-person and third blend into a life of the celebrated aviatrix-both before and after her famed disappearance in 1937, at age 39-that unfolds with the surreal precision of a dream and that marks first novelist Mendelsohn as a writer to watch....The Earhart limned here is materialistic, glory-seeking, sexually hungry, outrageously self-absorbed and utterly charismatic.
added by Lemeritus | editPublisher's Weekly (Apr 1, 1996)
 
First-novelist Mendelsohn gives us Amelia Earhart's fictive autobiography, written as a message in a bottle from the desert island on which she spent her last days....The melancholy tone of the opening is completed splendidly in the flat stoicism of the end. Strange, slight, but wonderful: a modest portrait that manages to create some moments of exceptional intensity and power of feeling.
added by Lemeritus | editKirkus Reviews (Feb 15, 1996)
 
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But in the roar of the wind she heard the roar of an aeroplane coming nearer and nearer. - Virginia Woolf, Orlando
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For Nick
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The sky is flesh.
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In this brilliantly imagined novel, Amelia Earhart tells us what happened after she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared off the coast of New Guinea one glorious, windy day in 1937. And she tells us about herself. There is her love affair with flying ("The sky is flesh") . . . . There are her memories of the past: her childhood desire to become a heroine ("Heroines did what they wanted") . . . her marriage to G.P. Putnam, who promoted her to fame, but was willing to gamble her life so that the book she was writing about her round-the-world flight would sell out before Christmas. There is the flight itself -- day after magnificent or perilous or exhilarating or terrifying day ("Noonan once said any fool could have seen I was risking my life but not living it"). And there is, miraculously, an island ("We named it Heaven, as a kind of joke"). And, most important, there is Noonan . . .

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