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American Flygirl: Author Event with Susan Ankeny (virtual)

Wednesday, May 1 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join us for a virtual author event to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander month; we’ll be celebrating the release of Susan Ankeny’s new book, Fly Girl. 

A uniquely hidden figure, Hazel Ying Lee was a pioneering trailblazer in the history of WWII, aviation, women, the military, and America, yet her inspiring story and extraordinary accomplishments have been unheralded and ignored.  The only book to focus on an Asian American female aviator, American Flygirl (on sale April 23, 2024) breaks this silence, illuminating the structural and racial barriers Lee faced to become the first Asian American woman to earn a pilot’s license, join the WASPs, and fight for this country amid widespread anti-Asian sentiment and racist policies such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and Japanese internment camps.

The book’s release coincides with AAPI Heritage Month, which is observed throughout May to recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

Hazel came of age at a time in America where Asians were subjected to unjust discrimination and denied the rights granted to Euro-Americans. The years between 1882-1943 are known as the Exclusion Era in Oregon.. Most occupations outside Chinatown were not open to them, and many places of business were completely off-limits. Every Chinese American, even children who were born in the United States, was required to carry identification – and it was worse for Chinese women, who endured layers of biases and widespread discrimination.

Yet a new age was dawning, and for the first time, the idea that more than child-rearing and homemaking might be available to women began to take root. Some women, brave enough to go against convention, found themselves willing and eager to exchange traditional roles to become pilots and explore new opportunities in aviation. A fire was lit in Hazel that would change the course of her life.

Susan Tate Ankeny (Portland, OR) is the author of nonfiction WWII history books including American Flygirl and The Girl and the Bombardier. A former educator, she is a member of the Oregon 8th Air Force Historical Society and the Association des Sauveteurs d’Aviateurs Alliés, which finds and memorializes WWII crash sites in France. The daughter of a WWII bombardier and great-granddaughter of Oregon pioneers, she lives in Portland, Oregon.  Learn more at https://susantateankeny.com/.

Co-sponsored by the Avon Library & Avon Historical Society.

Please register; Zoom links will go out before the event.

Join us for a companion program in May, The Original Flygirls:  https://www.avonctlibrary.info/event/originalflygirls/


Wednesday, May 1
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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