I Was Amelia Earhart

by Jane Mendelsohn

ISBN: 0679776362

The experience of reading this book was a lot like dozing on the couch in the afternoon sun while an old movie you’ve seen countless times before is playing on the television in the next room. It is a quite pleasant experience, but what is happnening and who is talking is not always clear.

This slim book, with its shifts in perspective (first to third person) and short yet loaded paragraphs, seems to be striving for a dreamlike quality, which it achieves more often than not. Part fascination with a powerful female historical figure, part meditation on the nature of reality and our ability to shape it, Mendelsohn’s book tells the story of Amelia Earhart’s last flight and her subsequent disappearance.

The premise is this: what if Earhart and her navigator lived? What if they found themselves on a deserted tropical island? (What would an egomaniac and an alcoholic find to talk to each other about?) Most interestingly, what if they decided, in the end, they didn’t want to be rescued?

Worth spending the afteroon on the couch awake for. Recommended.

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