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Loyola professors receive national attention for book, website devoted to air travel

Loyola press release - March 13, 2012

When Loyola University New Orleans English professors Christopher Schaberg and Mark Yakich met for the first time, they started sharing stories about air travel. These stories became the basis of their co-authored memoir, “Checking In/Checking Out.”

Working with graphic design professor Nancy Bernardo, Schaberg and Yakich turned their stories of flight into a passport-sized, two-sided book. One side, “Checking In,” relates behind-the-scenes stories of Schaberg’s experiences as an employee of United Airlines at the Gallatin Field Airport outside Bozeman, Mont. The other side, “Checking Out,” tells the story of Yakich’s lifelong efforts to cure his fear of flying. Bernardo designed the book cover and layout of the book to evoke the feel of ‘airport reading.’

The book, available online at Amazon.com, has received national attention by literary blogs and publications, including rave reviews by the Los Angeles Times, Salon.com and Joe Keohane, editor in chief of Hemispheres, United Airlines’ in-flight magazine.

Continuing to explore the literary aspects of flight, Yakich and Schaberg then teamed up with Bhob Rainey, instructor of music industry studies, who used his digital media savvy to create airplanereading.org, a new website devoted to stories about air travel. Managed and co-edited by Schaberg and Yakich, the site features anecdotes, observations and reflections about air travel from a range of writers and travelers.

The site airplanereading.org is open to submissions, and has received positive reviews and achieved a national following from writers and travelers alike. James Franco, the Academy Award-nominated actor, artist and filmmaker, even submitted his personal anecdote, about learning to fly for a leading role in the film “Flyboys.”

"Airports and commercial aircraft are a nexus of modern narratives, and it is these narratives that we are attempting to collect, juxtapose and exhibit," Schaberg said.

For more information, contact Jess Brown at 504-861-5882 or jlbrown@loyno.edu.

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