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The Art of Uncontrolled Flight
Synopses & Reviews
A stunning literary debut about a woman – an airforce pilot – torn between duty and desire.
The long shadow of a charismatic father leads Annie Shaw to decide, as far back as she can remember, to follow in his footsteps and become an air force pilot. Years later, after her mother's death and her own graduation from the academy, Captain A. Shaw is now one of the first female pilots in American history to engage in active combat duty during the first Gulf War. But her pride at earning rank as the only woman in an all–male fraternity offers little solace as the realities of battle change her, forever, into a wary, combat–wise survivor.
"Annie Shaw, a U.S. Air Force pilot in the first Gulf War, navigates womanhood in a man's world in this artful if sometimes inert novel from Ponders, who holds the same rsum as her protagonist. Raised by her swashbuckling, womanizing Air Force father after her mother dies when Annie is a child, Annie follows in his footsteps to the Academy, where she learns 'how not to be like a woman' and makes rank quietly. In a series of linked stories told from shifting points of view, Ponders explores Annie's uneasy relationships with her father; her decent, sexy geologist husband, Dexter; the men of her combat unit; and her aircraft commander, Jago, the man she loves. The call of military and marital duty is stronger than romance for both Jago and Annie. With restrained, elliptical prose, Ponders evokes Annie's guarded, alert personality. Her stories range from tense and erotic, as when Annie — ever 'one of the boys' — visits a strip bar with her crew, to more urgent and morally complicated, as when Annie's dangerous failure of judgment in the air wins her a Distinguished Flying Cross instead of a court-martial. This carefully crafted war story and romance marks an ambitious debut. Agent, Bill Goodman. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this literary debut, Annie Shaw is one of the first female pilots in American history to engage in active combat duty during the first Gulf War. Her pride at earning rank as the only woman in an all-male fraternity offers little solace as she's changed into a combat-wise survivor.
About the Author
Kim Ponders lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two children. A graduate of Syracuse University and the Warren Wilson MFA for Writers program, she still serves as a member of the United States Air Force Reserves. This is her first novel.
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