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True-to-Life Debuts From Two Authors

The novel The Art of Uncontrolled Flight, by Kim Ponders, relates the efforts of a woman making her way as an Air Force pilot during the first Gulf War. Ponders was herself a pilot herself in the conflict.

And Nicole Lea Helget's memoir The Summer of Ordinary Ways is the tale of growing up on a Minnesota farm in the 1980s. Despite the bucolic setting, Helget's life was marked by bouts of violence and instability.

Copyright 2023 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2019, Corrigan was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle.