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Loyola professors collaborate to publish book, launch website on air travel

September 30, 2011

When Loyola University New Orleans English professors Christopher Schaberg and Mark Yakich met for the first time, they started sharing stories about air travel. These stories became the basis of their new co-authored memoir, “Checking In/Checking Out.”

Working with graphic design professor Nancy Bernardo, Schaberg and Yakich turned their stories of flight into a passport-sized, two-sided book. One side, “Checking In,” relates behind-the-scenes stories of Schaberg’s experiences as an employee of United Airlines at the Gallatin Field Airport outside Bozeman, Mont. The other side, “Checking Out,” tells the story of Yakich’s lifelong efforts to cure his fear of flying. Bernardo designed the book cover and layout of the book to evoke the feel of ‘airport reading.’

Continuing to explore the literary aspects of flight, Yakich and Schaberg then teamed up with Bhob Rainey, instructor of music industry studies, who used his digital media savvy to create airplanereading.org, a new website devoted to stories about air travel. Managed and co-edited by Schaberg and Yakich, the site features anecdotes, observations and reflections about air travel from a range of writers and travelers.

"Airports and commercial aircraft are a nexus of modern narratives, and it is these narratives that we are attempting to collect, juxtapose and exhibit," Schaberg said.

The site airplanereading.org is open to submissions, and has received positive reviews and achieved a national following from writers and travelers alike.

"The stories of air travel are far from simple, and anything but clear,” Yakich said. “Rather, they are full of idiosyncratic dramas, eccentric worries and a million unannounced small miracles every day."

Schaberg and Yakich’s own stories are told in “Checking In/Checking Out,” which is currently available for purchase at the Loyola University Bookstore, Garden District Books, Hudson Booksellers in the Louis Armstrong International Airport, and online at Amazon.com.

For more information, contact Jess Brown at 504-861-5882 or jlbrown@loyno.edu.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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