Harry Haskell

Author

Available from your local independent bookstore. To purchase online, click on one of the links below:



Click on the link above to read a Q&A on John Valeri's blog.


Click on the link above to listen to Harry discuss Katharine on WNPR's Colin McEnroe Show.


Click on the link above to read an excerpt from Maiden Flight.


Click on the link above to listen to Harry's NPR commentary on Katharine Wright as a letter writer.

Maiden Flight

Maiden Flight is the true-life story of the "Wright sister" who left her world-famous and intensely possessive older brother to marry the man she loved--and suffered the unhappy consequences.

Herself an international celebrity, Katharine Wright embodied the worldly, independent, and self-fulfilled New Woman of the early twentieth century. Yet she remained in many ways a Victorian whose devotion to her family was deep and, for most of her life, unquestioned. Torn between duty and love, she agonized for months before making an emotionally devastating break with her brother Orville, the revered elder statesman of American aviation, to marry newspaper editor Henry J. Haskell (known as Harry).

Maiden Flight is cast in the form of three interlocking first-person memoirs, imaginatively reconstructed from personal letters, newspaper reports, and other documents of the period—in particular, Katharine's eloquent and extraordinarily revealing love letters to Harry (the author's grandfather). Although the narrative straddles the line between historical fiction and creative nonfiction, it is solidly grounded in historical research: every incident, fact, and emotion that the members of this lovers' triangle describe--almost entirely in their own words--is either fully documented or can be confidently inferred from the historical record.

In allowing Katharine to step outside of Wilbur and Orville’s shadow, Maiden Flight sheds new light on the central role she played in their private lives, as well as on her often misunderstood contribution to their scientific work. Above all, the book celebrates Katharine’s abundant store of what she called “human nature”--her lively and perceptive outlook on life, her great capacity for both love and indignation, and her acute and sometimes crippling self-awareness.

"Harry Haskell unravels the mystery of the 'third' Wright brother--their sister, Katharine. Beautifully told!" (Richard Maurer, author of The Wright Sister)

"A really great book. Harry Haskell has written a revealing, moving, and poignant story about his grandfather, Katharine Wright, and her brother Orville. Wonderful for aviation fans and those who just love a nicely written story that will swallow you up and show you a different side of history at the same time." (Laurie Notaro, New York Times bestselling author of Crossing the Horizon and The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club)

"[The] artistic technique of employing [Katharine, Orville, and Harry's] three different voices works beautifully. . . . Maiden Flight is a love story; there are passion, intrigue, family secrets, heartbreak and tragedy. The publishers have classified it as 'fiction.' It rings far too true to be designated as such." (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"Combining family lore with meticulous historical and biographical research, Haskell has crafted a lively tale of the forgotten Wright sibling. While very much of its era, the recounting of family relationships, love coming late in life, and the excitement of new technology reverberates in our own time as well." (Tracy Barrett, author of The Stepsister's Tale)

Maiden Flight is featured in the 2017 Reading Group Choices catalog.

Selected Works

Fiction/creative nonfiction
"Masterfully drawing on intimate family letters, Haskell crosses the boundaries of fact and fiction to bring to life the distinctive voices of an era and illuminate one exceptional woman's struggle for independence and fulfillment."
–Lauren Belfer, New York Times bestselling author of City of Light, A Fierce Radiance, and And After the Fire
Nonfiction
“This could be the best book on Kansas City history published in decades. The writing is excellent, literate, and informed.”
—William S. Worley, author of J. C. Nichols and the Shaping of Kansas City
"A book that will delight and instruct everyone who reads it, even those who have lived through important parts of the story; better still, it will leave the reader thinking about what it all means."
--Richard Dyer in the Boston Globe
"A beautifully collected and annotated anthology of occasional writings about music. . . . I recommend it to anybody who likes music and wants to like it yet again."
--Boston Book Review

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