Tuesday, April 2, 2019 – discussion lead: Christine
As a member of the renowned Flying Doctors Service, Dr. Anne Spoerry treated hundreds of thousands of people across rural Kenya over the span of fifty years, earning herself the cherished nickname “Mama Daktari”—“Mother Doctor.” Yet few knew that what drove her from post-World War II Europe to Africa was a past marked by rebellion, submission, and personal decisions that earned her another nickname—this one sinister—while working as a “doctor” in a Nazi concentration camp.
In Full Flight explores the question of whether it is possible to rewrite one’s past by doing good in the present, and takes readers on an extraordinary journey into a dramatic life punctuated by both courage and weakness and driven by a powerful need to atone.
“There are no easy answers to glean from this tale of tragedy and atonement…Drawing on journals, long-buried files, and interviews with Spoerry and her friends, Heminway uncovers not only the doctor’s heroism and humanitarian efforts in Kenya but also the darker past that led to her emigration from Europe….[In Full Flight] is an important work that is sure to provoke discussion about wartime choices, moral courage, and whether it is possible to make amends.”
– Barrie Olmstead, Library Journal
About the author:
From the author’s website: John Heminway is a writer and filmmaker. Educated in New York, Switzerland, Massachusetts and at Princeton University, his award-winning body of work has focused on nature, science, history, biography, the American West and Africa.
Heminway’s filmmaking career at ABC Sports, Anglia Television, the Discovery Channel, PBS (WNET/Thirteen and WGBH), Disney and National Geographic Television, spans five decades and several hundred films. For PBS, he helped produce, write and direct “The Brain,” “The Mind” and the “Evolution” series, and has contributed to the Nature series. For four years he was the producer and the presenter/host of the PBS series, “Travels.” His many awards include two Emmys, two Peabodys and a DuPont Columbia Journalism award.