Mohegan Sun: Delicious Discussions with Harry Haskell (Maiden Flight)

Otis Library in Norwich and Bank Square Books present a Women's History Month Delicious Discussions luncheon with Harry Haskell (Maiden Flight). Tickets for this event are $40 and include an author talk and signing, a copy of the book and a buffet lunch at Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun. This event will take place at noon on March 15 and requires pre-registration. 

Delicious Discussion Author Series is a partnership between Otis Library, Bank Square Books and Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun. Our sponsor for the 2016 - 2017 series is GUINAN & HOULE LLP, Attorneys at Law. 

For tickets, call Kate McDonald at Otis Library: (860) 889-2365 x 127 or email kmcdonald@otis.lioninc.org

About the Book

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.

About the Author

Harry Haskell is a prize-winning author, editor, and cultural commentator who writes authoritatively on a wide range of topics, from American history to the revival of early music. 

A former acquiring editor for Yale University Press and classical music critic for the Kansas City Star, Haskell is the grandson of the Star's Pulitzer Prize-winning editor, Henry J. Haskell. His previous book, Boss-Busters and Sin Hounds: Kansas City and Its “Star,” winner of the 2009 Missouri History Book Award, told the colorful story of the newspaper’s rise and decline in the first half of the 20th century. In Maiden Flight, he focuses on a more intimate and dramatic subject: his grandfather’s love affair with Katharine Wright, sister of the world-famous Wright brothers, and the tragic rift their marriage caused with her highly possessive brother Orville.

Haskell is also the author of two nonfiction books on musical subjects: The Early Music Revival: A History, which received full-page reviews in the New York Times Book Review and the London Times Literary Supplement; and The Attentive Listener: Three Centuries of Music Criticism, which Choice magazine praised as a “brilliant selection of articles [that] should prove useful to students and intriguing to researchers.” The recently published French edition of The Early Music Revival, titled Les Voix d’un renouveau, won the 2014 Prix des Muses in musicology awarded by the Fondation Singer-Polignac in Paris. 

Maiden Flight, based largely on Katharine Wright’s articulate and highly revealing love letters, straddles the line between historical fiction and creative nonfiction. As such, it represents a fresh departure for the author. But whatever genre his books fall into, Haskell considers himself first and foremost a storyteller who aims to bring historical personalities and events to life for contemporary readers. He is currently at work on a biography of the early-20th-century attorney and social activist Frank P. Walsh, a stalwart champion of organized labor and civil liberties who was one of the Progressive Era’s unsung heroes. 

In addition to working as a free-lance book and journal editor, Haskell serves as program annotator for Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York. An avid cellist and gardener, he lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with his wife, Ellen Cordes, a librarian at Yale University’s Lewis Walpole Library, and their book-loving daughter Lucy, a student at Oberlin College. 

Event date: 
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Event address: 
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd.
Uncasville, CT 06382
Maiden Flight Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781613736371
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicago Review Press - October 2016

Maiden Flightis the true-life story of the Wright sister who in 1926 left her world-famous and intensely possessive older brother to marry newspaper editor Harry Haskell, the man she loved, and suffered the unhappy consequences. An international celebrity in her own right, Katharine embodied the worldly, independent, and self-fulfilled New Woman of the early twentieth century.