Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - I Was Amelia Earhart

I Was Amelia Earhart
I Was Amelia Earhart
Author: Jane Mendelsohn
In this brilliantly imagined novel, Amelia Earhart tells us what happened after she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared off the coast of New Guinea one glorious, windy day in 1937. And she tells us about herself. — There is her love affair with flying ("The sky is flesh") . . . . — There are her memories of the past: her childhood desire t...  more »
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9780679450542
ISBN-10: 0679450548
Publication Date: 4/2/1996
Pages: 145
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.

3.1 stars, based on 40 ratings
Publisher: Knopf
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed I Was Amelia Earhart on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Somewhat predictable, strains a little to be lyrical in a plain-spoken way and sounds flat instead.
tish avatar reviewed I Was Amelia Earhart on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
this is a wonderful tho' short read
Foucault avatar reviewed I Was Amelia Earhart on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Imagine a collection of silent movie footage, taken from different viewpoints, and edited together to make a slightly disjointed movie. This was the feel I got from this novel.

This story never really feels as if it is being offered as a viable explanation for what might have happened to Amelia Earhart when she disappeared while en route from Lae, New Guinea to Howell Island, during her failed attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world. Rather it provides a series of other-worldly meditations on scenes that might have happened had the plane crashed on a strange deserted island. Very brief vignettes, sometimes from Amelia's viewpoint, sometimes from another viewpoint.

Amelia and Noonan, her alcoholic (at least in the story) navigator give the island the nickname "heaven"; a joke apparently, but it occurred to me that the entire story might really be about what happened when Amelia died. Perhaps the island really was heaven?

It also crossed my mind that these impressionistic scenes were a collection of fantasies by someone other than Earhart.

I did find this hypothesis about Earhart's disappearance, which seems to form the possible background to this book. The site from which this comes, The Earhart Project, has some fascinating information (as well as a scathing, and not terribly fair review of the book), as does the Amelia Earhart Wikipedia page.

This book is almost poetry, strung together, just like an edited movie, to create a kind of narrative. I have to say, it left me slightly unsatisfied.
Read All 13 Book Reviews of "I Was Amelia Earhart"


Want fewer ads?