Wingwalkers

Taylor Brown, 1982-

Book - 2022

"A former WWI ace pilot and his wingwalker wife barnstorm across Depression-era America, performing acts of aerial daring. "They were over Georgia somewhere, another nameless hamlet whose dusty streets lay flocked and trembling with the pink handbills they'd rained from the sky that morning, the ones that announced the coming of DELLA THE DARING DEVILETTE, who would DEFY THE HEAVENS, shining like a DAYTIME STAR, a WING-WALKING WONDER borne upon the wings of CAPTAIN ZENO MARIGOLD, ...a DOUBLE ACE of the GREAT WAR, who had ELEVEN AERIAL VICTORIES over the TRENCHES OF FRANCE." Wingwalkers is one-part epic adventure, one-part love story, and, as is the signature for critically-acclaimed author Taylor Brown, one large part American history. The novel braids the adventures of Della and Zeno Marigold, a vagabond couple that funds their journey to the west coast in the middle of the Great Depression by performing death-defying aerial stunts from town to town, together with the life of the author (and thwarted fighter pilot) William Faulkner, whom the couple ultimately inspires during a dramatic air show--with unexpected consequences for all. Brown has taken a tantalizing tidbit from Faulkner's real life--an evening's chance encounter with two daredevils in New Orleans--and set it aloft in this fabulous novel. With scintillating prose and an action-packed plot, he has captured the true essence of a bygone era and shed a new light on the heart and motivations of one of America's greatest authors"--

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1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Brown Taylor (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 1, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Historical fiction
Romance fiction
Love stories
Action and adventure fiction
Novels
Published
New York : St. Martin's Press 2022.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
310 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250274595
1250274591
Main Author
Taylor Brown, 1982- (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

True events enhance this tale of aerial daredevils Della and Zeno Marigold, who in the 1930s entertain East Coast crowds with aerial acrobatics in their well-used Jenny. Della shines as a wingwalker in her skin-fitting silver jumpsuit, while Zeno is the dashing Great War flying ace. Their vagabond life carries them westward to try their luck in Hollywood. Brown's parallel story begins in Oxford, MS, where Billy Falkner's childhood passion for flying never wanes, prompting his enlistment in the RAF in 1918, too late for action. Anxious to fly, he forms the Flying Falkners with his brothers, performing crowd-pleasing aerial stunts. A grown-up Bill follows another passion that boosts him to fame in Hollywood—writing poems and stories based on his imagined war exploits. Hungover during Mardi Gras, Bill catches a ride into New Orleans with Della and Zeno. At the bar, he listens to their dream of landing in Hollywood and tries to help, but a drunken Zeno storms out, tired of this fake flyer's war stories. Soon, Della and Zeno's prospects vanish, tragedy strikes the Falkners, and William Faulkner (the u from his RAF days) bases his new novel Pylon on his brief encounter with Zeno and Della. VERDICT Vivid writing pops off the page in this sixth novel from Brown (Fallen Land). A wondrous tale, mixing fact and fiction, with colorful details of the Depression-era United States as backdrop.—Donna Bettencourt Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

True events enhance this tale of aerial daredevils Della and Zeno Marigold, who in the 1930s entertain East Coast crowds with aerial acrobatics in their well-used Jenny. Della shines as a wingwalker in her skin-fitting silver jumpsuit, while Zeno is the dashing Great War flying ace. Their vagabond life carries them westward to try their luck in Hollywood. Brown's parallel story begins in Oxford, MS, where Billy Falkner's childhood passion for flying never wanes, prompting his enlistment in the RAF in 1918, too late for action. Anxious to fly, he forms the Flying Falkners with his brothers, performing crowd-pleasing aerial stunts. A grown-up Bill follows another passion that boosts him to fame in Hollywood—writing poems and stories based on his imagined war exploits. Hungover during Mardi Gras, Bill catches a ride into New Orleans with Della and Zeno. At the bar, he listens to their dream of landing in Hollywood and tries to help, but a drunken Zeno storms out, tired of this fake flyer's war stories. Soon, Della and Zeno's prospects vanish, tragedy strikes the Falkners, and William Faulkner (the u from his RAF days) bases his new novel Pylon on his brief encounter with Zeno and Della. VERDICT Vivid writing pops off the page in this sixth novel from Brown (Fallen Land). A wondrous tale, mixing fact and fiction, with colorful details of the Depression-era United States as backdrop.—Donna Bettencourt Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Brown (Pride of Eden) returns with a boozy and nimble story of William Faulkner and two flying daredevils who meet by chance in 1934 at Mardi Gras. Faulkner grows up with a love for writing poetry and a fascination with airplanes, country barnstormers, and carnival balloonists in Oxford, Miss. At 13, he briefly pilots a homemade beanpole airplane before crashing, and later enlists with the RAF near the end of WWI and returns home with a limp and stories of dangerous escapades despite missing his chance at combat. A parallel narrative follows Zeno Marigold, a WWI ace pilot and student of the classics, and his wife, Della the Daring, who performs aerial stunts without a parachute in a skintight, silver lamé jumpsuit. Zeno and Della are poor, living hand-to-mouth as they dupe, hustle, and barnstorm their way through the South, working their way west to get into movies. Brown packs their vagabond lifestyle with plenty of trials and bootleg liquor, while Faulkner's star as a script writer and novelist continues to rise, and, after a double jolt of heartbreak when both women he loves marry others, he marries Estelle. The final act features a life-changing, serendipitous encounter between Faulkner, Zeno, and Della. Brown crafts a heart-pounding plot, and his gorgeous descriptions of Southern terrain from the air resonate just as much. The result is both elegant and thrilling. (Apr.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A former WWI ace pilot and his wingwalker wife barnstorm across Depression-era America, performing acts of aerial daring. "They were over Georgia somewhere, another nameless hamlet whose dusty streets lay flocked and trembling with the pink handbills they'd rained from the sky that morning, the ones that announced the coming of DELLA THE DARING DEVILETTE, who would DEFY THE HEAVENS, shining like a DAYTIME STAR, a WING-WALKING WONDER borne upon the wings of CAPTAIN ZENO MARIGOLD, a DOUBLE ACE of the GREAT WAR, who had ELEVEN AERIAL VICTORIES over the TRENCHES OF FRANCE." Wingwalkers is one-part epic adventure, one-part love story, and, as is the signature for critically-acclaimed author Taylor Brown, one large part American history. The novel braids the adventures of Della and Zeno Marigold, a vagabond couple that funds their journey to the west coast in the middle of the Great Depression by performing death-defying aerial stunts from town to town, together with the life of the author (and thwarted fighter pilot) William Faulkner, whom the couple ultimately inspires during a dramatic air show-with unexpected consequences for all. Brown has taken a tantalizing tidbit from Faulkner's real life-an evening's chance encounter with two daredevils in New Orleans-and set it aloft in this fabulous novel. With scintillating prose and an action-packed plot, he has captured the true essence of a bygone era and shed a new light on the heart and motivations of one of America's greatest authors"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Part epic adventure, part love story, this novel intricately weaves together the adventures of a vagabond couple who survive the Great Depression by performing death-defying aerial stunts from town to town, with the life of the author (and thwarted fighter pilot) William Faulkner. 30,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A former WWI ace pilot and his wingwalker wife barnstorm across Depression-era America, performing acts of aerial daring.“They were over Georgia somewhere, another nameless hamlet whose dusty streets lay flocked and trembling with the pink handbills they’d rained from the sky that morning, the ones that announced the coming of DELLA THE DARING DEVILETTE, who would DEFY THE HEAVENS, shining like a DAYTIME STAR, a WING-WALKING WONDER borne upon the wings of CAPTAIN ZENO MARIGOLD, a DOUBLE ACE of the GREAT WAR, who had ELEVEN AERIAL VICTORIES over the TRENCHES OF FRANCE.”Wingwalkers is one-part epic adventure, one-part love story, and, as is the signature for critically-acclaimed author Taylor Brown, one large part American history. The novel follows the adventures of Della and Zeno Marigold, a pair of Great Depression barnstormers who are funding their journey west by performing death-defying aerial stunts from town to town, and braids them with the real-life exploits of author (and thwarted fighter pilot) William Faulkner. When their paths cross during a dramatic air show, there will be unexpected consequences for all.Brown has taken a tantalizing tidbit from Faulkner’s real life—an evening's chance encounter with two daredevils in New Orleans—and set it aloft in this fabulous novel. With scintillating prose and an action-packed plot, he has captured the true essence of a bygone era and shed a new light on the heart and motivations of one of America's greatest authors.