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Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World's Busiest Airport

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Carnegie Library

1 Lagrange Street

Newnan, GA 30263

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Hannah Palmer presents “Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport" at the Carnegie January 26th!

The Jewel in Georgia’s Crown is indisputably the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield/Jackson International, and will be the focus of a new author event at the Carnegie on Saturday, January 26 at 11:00 am. Author, urban designer and native of southside Atlanta, Hannah Palmer, will dissect the evolution of the airport and its environs, both good and bad, in her extensively researched urban history memoir, Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport”.

Hannah Palmer’s humanistic approach began when she discovered that all three of her childhood houses were wiped out by the expansion of Atlanta’s airport. Having uprooted herself from a promising career in publishing in her adopted Brooklyn, she embarked on a quest to determine the fate of her lost homes—and of a community that has been erased by unchecked Southern progress.

Palmer initially pondered, “Whose idea was this? What was that vision?” Exploring further she found, “the men I talked to viewed these properties, houses, and runways as professionals. They had an utter lack of sentimentality or nostalgia. These were business deals. These were projects to be executed. And they took a lot of pride in what they had accomplished. Whereas the women who I spoke to bore the devastation. They seemed to speak of homes they had built and had lost. It was a profoundly gendered divide in terms of the kinds of conversations I was having. And it helped me in a way to talk to the developers and airport designers and feel a sense of excitement and pride about what had been accomplished, but to still know personally what was lost”.

Palmer's journey takes her from the ruins of kudzu-covered, airport-owned ghost towns to carefully preserved cemeteries wedged between the runways; into awkward confrontations with airport planners, developers, and even her own parents. Along the way, Palmer becomes an amateur detective, an urban historian, and a new mother.

Lyrically chronicling the overlooked devastation and beauty along the airport’s fringe communities Palmer unearths startling narratives about race, power, and place that continue to shape American cities.

This event is part of the Edgar B. Hollis Distinguished Speaker Series sponsored by the Newnan Carnegie Library Foundation. A book signing will follow the presentation. Reservations are recommended (free) through Eventbrite or by calling the Carnegie at 770-638-1347. For more information, visit www.newnanclf.com. The Carnegie is located on the town square at 1 LaGrange Street in historic downtown Newnan.

About the Author: Hannah Palmer works as an urban designer in Atlanta. She writes about the intersection of southern stories and urban landscapes for venues like CNN, Art Papers, Atlanta Magazine, ATL Studies, and for urban design and planning projects around the world. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Sewanee: The University of the South. She lives near the Atlanta Airport with her husband and sons. Flight Path is her first book and winner of the 2018 Independent Published Book Awards (the Ippys) bronze medal in essays/creative nonfiction.

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Carnegie Library

1 Lagrange Street

Newnan, GA 30263

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