New novel Maiden Flight celebrates the “Wright sister”

The love letters of Katharine Wright—Wilbur and Orville’s sister—form the basis for this true-to-life love story

Maiden Flight

Maiden Flight

In 1926 at age 52, Katharine Wright made the decision to leave her home in Dayton, Ohio—and more importantly her world-famous and intensely possessive older brother,  Orville—to marry Kansas City Star editor Henry J. Haskell (known as Harry), the man she loved and had known since her days at Oberlin College. Katharine—the “Wright sister” and the only Wright sibling with a college degree—was an international celebrity in her own right, embodying the worldly, independent, and self-fulfilled New Woman of the early 20th century. Her vibrant, outgoing personality made her an indispensable asset to her renowned yet socially shy brothers. Torn between duty and love, she agonized for months before making her devastating break with Orville. Even though she attempted to communicate with him, he refused to see her until she was on her deathbed three years later.

Maiden Flight (Academy Chicago, an imprint of Chicago Review Press; October 1, 2016) is the fictionalized telling of Katharine Wright and Henry J. Haskell’s love affair. Written by Haskell’s grandson and namesake, Harry Haskell, the novel is based on personal letters, newspaper reports, and other documents of the period—in particular, Katharine’s lively and extraordinarily revealing love letters to Harry. Cast in the form of three interwoven first-person “memoirs,” imaginatively reconstructed by the author, Maiden Flight allows Katharine to step outside of Wilbur and Orville’s shadow. Haskell sheds new light on the central role she played in their private lives, as well as on her often misunderstood contribution to her brothers’ scientific work.

A moving read for anyone interested in the Wrights or independent women of a bygone era, Maiden Flight celebrates Katharine’s abundant store of what she called “human nature”—her spirited and perceptive outlook on life, her great capacity for both love and indignation and her acute and sometimes crippling self-awareness.

About the Author:

Harry Haskell, author

Harry Haskell, author

Harry Haskell, the grandson of the former Kansas City Star editor Henry J. Haskell, was a writer and editor at the same paper and an editor at Yale University Press. He is the author of Boss-Busters and Sin Hounds: Kansas City and Its Star and The Early Music Revival: A History, and editor of The Attentive Listener: Three Centuries of Music Criticism. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

Maiden Flight: A Novel

Harry Haskell | published by Academy Chicago, an imprint of Chicago Review Press | distributed by IPG

October 1, 2016 | 272 pages | 5.5 x 8.5 | Fiction| $15.99 US ($21.99 CAN)

Paper | ISBN: 9781613736371

Press release provided by Meaghan Miller, Chicago Review Press

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Join us at Wright Brothers Day on Oct. 5th!

Join us in the Student Union Atrium tomorrow, Thursday, October 8, from 11:00-2:00 for the Wright State’s sixth annual Wright Brothers Day. We will have an exhibit of materials from the Wright Brothers Collection.

The event, organized by the Wright State Marketing Club, connects the Wright Brothers’ innovative spirit with the innovation happening on campus today. It is always held around the anniversary of Wilbur Wright’s 39-minute flight at Huffman Prairie in October 1905, which is considered the demonstration that the Wrights had built a practical airplane.

wrightbrothers-savedatecard-09-15-16-1 wrightbrothers-savedatecard-09-15-16-2

The above images were created and provided by the event sponsors, Wright State Marketing Club and Raj Soin College of Business.

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Sarah Byrn Rickman to speak about WASPs on Oct 3

WASP of the Ferry Command

WASP of the Ferry Command (click to enlarge)

The next meeting of the Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society will take place on Monday, October 3, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome!

At this month’s meeting, Sarah Byrn Rickman will speak about WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) and her books: WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds and Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot (view PDF flyer).

The meeting and presentation will take place at the East Interpretive Center, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park at 2380 Memorial Road (intersection of State Route 444 and Kauffman Road), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

All are welcome!  There is ample free parking, and light refreshments will be provided.

You can view the upcoming schedule of meetings and speakers anytime at :

Brief Biography of Sarah Byrn Rickman:

Sarah Byrn Rickman

Sarah Byrn Rickman

Sarah Byrn Rickman left her newspaper editor job in 1989 to write books. Consequently, Sarah produced her first award winning WASP novel, Flight from Fear, and then The Originals: The Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron of World War II.

The University of North Texas Press has published Sarah’s newest book, Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II, the insightful biography of the captivating but little known commander of the women pilots who ferried airplanes across the continental United States for the Army in World War II. Sarah was the recipient of the 2009 Combs Gates Award, given by the National Aviation Hall of Fame. The award is for her work in telling the human side of aviation through her books about the WASP. As part of the award, Sarah will write one more piece of the WASP story — a book tentatively titled The WASP of the Ferry Command. It will tell the story of all 303 WASP who were assigned to ferry airplanes for the Ferrying Division, Air Transport Command, U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

On November 13, 2009, she soloed a 1946 Aeronca Champ on a grass field at Red Stewart Field in Waynesville, Ohio, and she received her Light sport Pilot certification in July 2011.

The year 2016 has been a banner year for WASP author Sarah Byrn Rickman. Her sixth book — WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds — debuted March of this year. A draft of WASP of the Ferry Command earned the 2009 Combs Gates Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame for creative works that “reflect an emphasis on the individual pioneers, the people, who defined America’s aerospace horizons”  — the human face of the mechanized outcome. Sarah’s seventh WASP book, Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot — a touchingly personal story — is newly released.

And it doesn’t stop there. On February 20, 2016, the New York Times published Sarah’s OpEd, “The Female Pilots We Betrayed,” telling how the WASP “lost” the right to have their ashes laid at Arlington National Cemetery — on a technicality. That decision has since been reversed.

Sarah also won two awards from the National League of American Pen Women in 2016: the Vinnie Ream Award in Letters — for her creative essay based on her new biography, Finding Dorothy Scott; and the Eudora Welty Memorial Award for Fiction for her WASP novel Flight to Destiny.

Sarah’s books have won four other awards, including finalist in the 2003 WILLA Awards (named for Willa Cather), presented by Women Writing the West for her first WASP novel, Fight From Fear. Nine of her WASP articles have been published nationally, plus one about Army helicopter pilot Captain Vicki Calhoun who flew in the first Gulf War. Sarah also edits the WASP newsletter for Texas Woman’s University/the WASP Archives.

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