Susan's Inspiration


From the time I was editor of the newspaper at Bennington College, I have always loved journalism. For a while I wrote for The New York Times and Barron's. I was also looking for an American woman to write a biography about whom I felt had not been given her just due. From there it was an easy jump to Amelia Earhart. My mother was a pilot in the 1930s, when most people were still afraid to get in an airplane, so I had always known about Earhart, and admired her. She was that rare bird--an American woman who had achieved fame and fortune by virtue of her own natural talents. And the more I learned about her, the better she became.

East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart

"Amelia" starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere, based on East to the Dawn, is currently being filmed by Avalon Pictures. Expected release date: November, 2009.

With her all-American good looks, natural charm, and self confidence, Amelia Earhart captured the hearts of the entire nation after becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928.

Amelia Earhart was a record setting aviator, but also a social worker, author, lecturer, businesswoman, educator, and a tireless promoter of women’s rights. She was thirty nine years old and on a round-the-world flight when she went missing in 1937

On this last flight Amelia Earhart had with her Fred Noonan, a top navigator. No pilot had flown the world at the equator, the longest way around, at 27,000 miles, for a very good reason: it was dangerous. Amelia Earhart said, “Here was shining adventure.”

This amazing book provides the most comprehensive account to date of Amelia Earhart’s extraordinary life. It was an alternate book-of-the-month club selection when it came out in hardcover in 1997. It was published in paperback in 1999 and is on audio tape.