The Discovery of Flight is a novel in two voices about the relationship between two sisters, the older of whom is disabled by cerebral palsy and only able to communicate with assistive technology (she can control her computer by moving her eyes). It interweaves the fantasy novel sixteen-year-old Libby is writing for Sophie’s thirteenth birthday, and Sophie’s diary, in which she discusses the deteriorating condition of her older sister. The book’s title is also the title of Libby’s novel, in which Libby takes the form of a hawk telepathically linked to a girl who, like her sister, is a good artist. Sophie’s diary is in fact illustrated with the occasional black-and-white drawings. The sicker Libby gets, the more she retreats into her novel and the less she interacts with the outside world. Though the situation is tragic, Sophie’s voice is extremely funny and wry. In addition, through her storytelling, Libby becomes a heroic figure rather than a helpless victim. After Libby’s death, the girls’ mother presents Sophie with the novel and Sophie writes its final chapter, bringing the voices of the two girls together.
Susan Glickman is the author of six volumes of poetry, most recently The Smooth Yarrow (2012), three novels for adults, most recently Safe as Houses ( 2015), the “Lunch Bunch” trilogy of children’s books, and The Picturesque & the Sublime: A Poetics of the Canadian Landscape (1998). She works as a freelance editor, primarily of academic books, and teaches creative writing in the continuing education programs of the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.
“A sensitive story of sisters, love, and loss, told via interweaving narratives.” — School Library Journal
“The Discovery of Flight provides a compassionate perspective on a family living with a severely disabled child, but it also tells the funny, poignant story of a 12-year-old struggling with growing pains. Author Susan Glickman brings the voice of the two sisters together in a memorable and transformative ending.” — Quill & Quire
“A beautiful sibling duet. This uniquely structured novel is funny, frank, and utterly transporting.” — Kyo Maclear, author of Birds, Art, Life
“The two voices—one sardonic, the other tender—blend seamlessly in this heartbreaking story that will appeal to fans of both realism and fantasy.” — Kit Pearson, author of A Day of Signs and Wonders
“Moving, imaginative, ultimately heroic and highly readable.” — Robert Priest, author of the Spell Crossed trilogy and The Wolf Is Back