Dear American Airlines

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008 - Fiction - 180 pages
17 Reviews
Sometimes the planes don’t fly on time.

Bennie Ford, a fifty-three-year-old failed poet turned translator, is traveling to his estranged daughter’s wedding when his flight is canceled. Stuck with thousands of fuming passengers in the purgatory of O’Hare airport, he watches the clock tick and realizes that he will miss the ceremony. Frustrated, irate, and helpless, Bennie does the only thing he can: he starts to write a letter. But what begins as a hilariously excoriating demand for a refund soon becomes a lament for a life gone awry, for years misspent, talent wasted, and happiness lost. A man both sinned against and sinning, Bennie writes in a voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit, heart-on-sleeve emotion, and wide-ranging erudition, underlined by a consistent groundnote of regret for the actions of a lifetime -- and made all the more urgent by the fading hope that if he can just make it to the wedding, he might have a chance to do something right.

A margarita blend of outrage, wicked humor, vulnerability, intelligence, and regret, Dear American Airlines gives new meaning to the term “airport novel” and announces the emergence of major new talent in American fiction.
  

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User Review  - Angela C. - Borders

When literateur Benjamin Ford gets stranded at O'Hare airport, what happens during those long hours of waiting ends up being a much needed reflection on his tattered life. Read full review

Review: Dear American Airlines

User Review  - Tiffaney - Goodreads

I liked it more the further I got into it. The main character was difficult to like and the structure was a little distracting to me. I did really like the translation story peppered throughout. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Jonathan Miles left home at seventeen, intent on a life in music, but when he landed in Oxford, Mississippi, he traded in the blues for writing. Having learned the art of fiction and of living from Barry Hannah and the late Larry Brown, Miles has worked as a blues researcher, bartender, gardener, and journalist, covering everything from the death of Faulkners bootlegger to the theory and practice of bar fights to the Dakar Rally in Africa. Now the cocktails columnist for the New York Times and books columnist for Mens Journal, Miless work has appeared, among other places, in GQ, the Oxford American, the New York Observer, and the New York Times Book Review.

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