A poetic and nuanced exploration of the human experience of flight that reminds us of the full imaginative weight of our most ordinary journeys - and  restores our capacity to be amazed.

 

The twenty-first century has relegated airplane flight - a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity - to the realm of the mundane. Mark Vanhoenacker, a 747 pilot who gave up careers in academia and the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flight, asks us to reimagine what we - both as pilots and as passengers - are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery. In a seamless fusion of history, politics, geography, meteorology, ecology, family, and physics, the author vaults across geographical and cultural boundaries, above mountains, oceans, and deserts, through snow, wind, and rain, renewing a simultaneously humbling and almost superhuman activity that affords us unparalleled perspectives on the planet we inhabit and the communities we form.

 

U.S.

Published June 2015 by Knopf

U.K.

Published April 2015 by Chatto & Windus