This Week’s Must Read: Malaysia Flight 370 and the World’s Attention


NPR has highlighted Stewart’s novel Songs for the Missing in regard to the missing Malaysia Flight 370:

What happens when the systems, institutions, technology and networks we’ve put into place for our protection, fail us? Consigned to speculation, how do we deal with the unresolved? What if the scant information we are able to cobble together, only deepens the mystery, and compounds our unknowing? What lengths will we go to for the answers we must have?

These are just a few of the many questions that have arisen in the wake of the unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Stewart O’Nan’s brilliant 2008 novel, Songs for the Missing, though it features no ill-fated airliners, raises many of the same questions.


2 thoughts on “This Week’s Must Read: Malaysia Flight 370 and the World’s Attention

  1. Hello Just a comment to tell you I recently reread your piece: My Mysteries of Pittsburgh: An Alphabet. As a fellow native of Point Breeze, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I grew up on Lloyd Street around the corner from the home Annie Dillard described in An American Childhood. Started squeezing under the wrougt iron fence of the Homewood cemetery about the age of 5 or so, learned to skate and play hockey on the pond there. The caretaker’s name was Frank, he was missing a thumb. In the tradition of kindness and generosity well known for Point Breeze kids of that era, we frequently regaled him with chants of “Frank sucks his thumb” trying to get him to chase us.
    We used to hang out at the player’s entrance to the locker room at Forbes Field where we chatted with Clemente, Bill Virdon, and Roy Face to name a few. I remember getting an autograph from one of the new guys called up late in the year who signed “Wilver Dornell Stargell”, I think it was Smokey Burgess who started teasing him that he took up all the room on the paper.
    I delivered the Post-Gazette from ’62 to ’66 up Gettysburg to Beechwood Blvd from Wilkins to Fifth and then back up Reynolds. One morning I got a note (or kick as we called them) to start delivery at a house on the corner of Beechwood and Hastings. Although it said the name was Rogers, I didn’t realize until I went to collect and he answered the door that it was the Mr. Rogers. I was so shocked to see a ceIebrity, I turned down his offer of a cookie. He was always very cordial as you would expect. My mother wrote him a letter before he died telling him of my experience. He wrote her a very pleasant personal reply.
    Anyway thanks for the memories, I will visit my local bookstore and order some of your other works soon.

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