Our network

'The Skies Belong to Us' writer to speak at Carter Library | Arts & Culture

Title (Max 100 Characters)

'The Skies Belong to Us' writer to speak at Carter Library
'The Skies Belong to Us' writer to speak at Carter Library

ATLANTA -- An author and former New York Times columnist will read from his new book at the Carter Library later this month.

Brendan Koerner is the author of The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking, which explores the consequences of a heist in the 1960s.

The reading will be held Thursday, July 18 at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public; copies of The Skies Belong to Us will be available for purchase.

Koerner's visit is sponsored by A Cappella Books in Inman Park, which provided this summary of his novel:

A shattered Army veteran and a mischievous party girl, Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow commandeered Western Airlines Flight 701, as a vague protest against the (Vietnam) war. Through a combination of savvy and dumb luck, the couple managed to flee across an ocean with a half-million dollars in ransom, a feat that made them notorious around the globe.

Koener spent four years chronicling this madcap tale, which involves a cast of characters ranging from exiled Black Panthers to African despots to French movie stars. He combed through more than 4,000 declassified documents and interviewed scores of key figures in the drama -- including one of the hijackers, whom Koerner discovered living in total obscurity.

But this book is more than just an enthralling tale about a spectacular heist and its bittersweet, decades-long aftermath. It is also a psychological portrait of America at its most turbulent, and a testament to the madness that can grip a nation when politics fail.

Brendan Koener has been named one of Columbia Journalism Review's "Ten Young Writers on the Rise." He is a contributing writer at Wired and is adapting one of his books, Now the Hell Will Start, into a screenplay for Spike Lee.

The Carter Library is located at 441 Freedom Parkway.