Literary Festival hosts Julia Cooke and Ann Hood in online discussion
Author Ann Hood was a former flight attendant for TWA.

Literary Festival hosts Julia Cooke and Ann Hood in online discussion

BRATTLEBORO — On Friday, April 9, at 5 p.m., the Brattleboro Literary Fest continues the celebration of its 20th anniversary year with a free virtual gathering celebrating Vermont author Julia Cooke's new book, Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am.

A news release describes the book as an account of “glamour, danger, and liberation in a Mad Men–era of commercial flight.”

Cooke will be in conversation with author and former TWA stewardess Ann Hood.

Cooke's intimate storytelling weaves the real-life stories of a memorable cast of characters in a trip to the golden age of travel.

Pan American World Airways attracted the kind of young woman who wanted out, and wanted up. Flight attendants - or stewardesses, as they were known back then - were required to have a college education, speak two languages, and possess the political savvy of a foreign service officer.

And there were physical requirements as well: a jet-age stewardess serving on Pan Am between 1966 and 1975 had to be the right height (between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-9), the right weight (between 105 and 140 pounds), and the right age (under 26 years old at the time of hire).

Cooke is a journalist and travel writer whose features and personal essays have been published in Time, Smithsonian, Condé Nast Traveler, and Saveur. She is the author of The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba.

The daughter of a former Pan Am executive, she grew up in the Pan Am “family,” a still-strong network across the globe. She lives in Woodstock.

Hood is the editor of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting and the bestselling author of The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, Comfort, and An Italian Wife, among other works. She is the recipient of many awards, including a Best American Travel Writing Award, and she lives in Providence, R.I.

To attend, register at

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