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AVIATRIX

FIRST WOMAN PILOT FOR HUGHES AIRWEST

A unique, engaging memoir balancing personal story with broader social themes.

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A pioneering pilot’s story of breaking gender barriers, fighting discrimination, and making peace with her experience.

In this debut memoir, Shipko takes readers through her career in aviation, from washing planes at her father’s fixed-based operation at a South Florida airport to becoming the first female pilot hired by Hughes Airwest, in 1976. Although she stopped flying in 1981, Shipko’s deep knowledge of aviation and the personalities of each plane she flew are evident in her detailed descriptions of flights taken decades ago. Her early years as a pilot were spent doing freelance flying out of Miami’s Corrosion Corner—“history, danger, and romance all wrapped up in one”—ferrying cargo and passengers throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. The tedium of loading and unloading tons of Bahamian fruits and vegetables was balanced by the opportunity for a swim on other island runs, delivering emergency supplies to Belize in the wake of a hurricane, and a night spent in a Colombian jail. During those Florida years, Shipko faced some antagonists and resistance to a woman in the cockpit, but that harassment was minor compared with the attacks at Hughes Airwest. Shipko writes with evident pride of her professional growth yet also describes in vivid detail the verbal, emotional, and physical harassment she faced from male pilots who resented her presence. The book places these experiences in historical context, long before companies were held liable for sexual harassment. When the stress of resisting and attempting to ignore the abuse caused serious health problems, Shipko took medical leave from Hughes Airwest and eventually retired from flying. Tracing her evolution in the decades since, she compellingly explores the roles her Catholic faith and family played in developing her understanding of the challenges she faced.

A unique, engaging memoir balancing personal story with broader social themes.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1507667637

Page Count: 246

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 23, 2015

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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INTO THE WILD

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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