A singular life often circles around a singular moment, an occasion when one’s life in the world is defined forever and the emotional vocabulary set. For the extraordinary writer James Salter, recipient of the PEN/Faulkner Award, this moment was contained in the fighter planes over Korea where, during his young manhood, he flew more than one hundred missions.
The editors have gathered selections and photographs from a journal Salter kept during the Korean War, published here for the first time, and assembled selections from two novels, The Hunters and Cassada, and from the author’s celebrated memoir, Burning the Days.
As commented in a brief introduction, “It is, as a record of the day-to-day, mission-to-mission life of a young fighter pilot, a remarkable document by any standard. But it provides as well a view into the ‘crucible of a writer’s beginnings, like pencil studies that precede a painting, in which the essential qualities of the artist’s hand are unmistakable.'”