Unlearning to Fly is the memoir of a bookworm growing up in Alaska – among people whose resilience, restlessness, and energy find their highest expression in winter ascents of Mount McKinley or first descents of wild rivers. These are the flying stories of a fearful pilot, one who admires but does not emulate the more daring exploits of her father and friends.
The accounts of Jennifer Brice – at times poignant, funny, and downright nerve-racking – are engaging recollections of deadly, near-deadly, and occasionally comic encounters between human nature and Nature writ large. The unlikely romance between her parents, the Good Friday earthquake, the Alaska oil boom, a stint as a newspaper reporter, and the trials of a student pilot form a few chapters in Brice’s remarkable life. These are the stories in which the physics and metaphors of flight – center of gravity, angle of attack, wake turbulence – illuminate Brice’s remarkable life story, recounted in prose that takes wing.