Childhood polio left Leonard Kriegel without the use of his legs. In Flying Solo, he writes in a lyrical, uncompromising voice about the interlaced themes of courage and masculinity against the backdrop of loss. Tracing memories back to his coming of age in the 1940s and 1950s, he portrays an interior life partly sustained by traditional visions of manhood, partly raging at the impossibility of fully living them out. Flying Solo is beautiful personal writing that will change the way we think about manhood.
“I love Flying Solo. . . . Kriegel’s body is crippled, yet his mind sees far beyond his body. . . . [A] fierce embracing of life.” -Andre Dubus
“With a passion that both illuminates and darkens moments of hard-won beauty and a wisdom that ripens while wary of ripeness, Leonard Kriegel wrestles us inside the meaning of being crippled.” -Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times
“In this unflinching yet lyrical memoir, Kriegel exalts an American mythic vision of mid-20th-century machismo. . . . Never pulling a punch, the would-have-been Bronx street fighter extols the manly virtues of anger, revenge and rage against the fates.” -Publishers Weekly
“These essays sear us with their passion and articulateness, shame us with their candor . . . and delight us with their charged, thrilling language.” -Phillip Lopate