Wally Funk's Race for Space
The Extraordinary Story of a Female Aviation Pioneer
Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (2/12/2019)
In this offbeat odyssey, journalist and fellow space buff Sue Nelson travels with Wally Funk, approaching her 80th birthday, as she races to make her giant leap. Covering their travels across the United States and Europe—taking in NASA’s mission control in Houston and Spaceport America in New Mexico, where Funk’s ride to space awaits—this is a uniquely intimate and entertaining portrait of a true aviation trailblazer.
Praise For Wally Funk's Race for Space: The Extraordinary Story of a Female Aviation Pioneer…
“An extraordinary, quirky book... A global Thelma and Louise–style adventure... It’s a great story, and it throws fascinating light on the story of female space travel.” — Daily Mail Book of the Week
“Inspiring... I am in great admiration of Wally Funk who showed tremendous courage and determination at a time when the world of space flight was dominated by men.” —Jan Wörner, Director General of the European Space Agency
“An absolute joy... Beautifully told by one of the world’s foremost space journalists, this fascinating portrait puts the story of women in space front and center.” —Dallas Campbell, author of Ad Astra
“A wonderful, vivid portrait of Wally Funk that explores the crucial part women have played in space exploration.” —Libby Jackson, author of A Galaxy of Her Own
“Wally Funk’s character leaps off the page... fantastic and so inspirational.” —Naga Munchetty, BBC Breakfast
"Funk is accomplished, charismatic, and energetic, and readers will be glad they got to spend time with her and Nelson via this well-written, entertaining book." --Publishers Weekly
"utterly charming...Funk is undeniably an American original, and Nelson's wry style suits her subject perfectly."
"a very entertaining new book." --Space Facts Wax
"This book leaves readers hopeful that Funk will at long last have a chance to slip the surly bonds of Earth" --Pasatiempo
Chicago Review Press, 9781641601306, 256pp.
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
About the Author
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. The women in the Mercury 13 women in space program sacrificed a lot to join the program. Many of them lost jobs, husbands, and even received hate mail just for attempting to literally reach the same heights as men. What do you think encouraged them to continue despite all obstacles, and what helped them, particularly Wally, cope with the devastating end of their dreams of becoming astronauts?
2. When Wally first read about Geraldyn ‘Jerrie’ Cobb, her “achievement ignited a flame within Wally that remains alight today” (14). Describe the unique importance of role models for women, both in this story, and in general?
3. Wally is described by a lot of people in a lot of ways: overbearing, talkative, determined, etc. Her strong personality is one that feels both unique and familiar. What aspect of Wally’s personality were you most drawn to, or not? How do you think that impacted your opinions on Wally’s race for space, and you opinion on the fight for gender equality everywhere?
4. One particularly endearing aspect of the book is the development of Sue and Wally’s professional relationship into a supportive friendship. How did the particular qualities (British/American cultures, ages, experiences, etc.) of each woman help or hinder their friendship throughout the years?
5. Many famous astronauts and influential figures are depicted in this story, including John Glenn and Valentina Tereshkova, in ways that are not often shared in the media. What stories and facts surprised you about these important figures? How did they change your perception about them and about the space age in general?
6. Dr. Robert Richards describes his Space Age generation as “orphans of Apollo” (86). How did the thrilling Apollo mission years followed by its disappointing end affect both Robert and Wally’s generations? How did it specifically affect women? How did it consequently affect the generations that came after?