“Innovative, enthralling, kinetic, and often subversively funny. Alongside Landing Gear’s stowaway, Yacub, we free-fall and rip a hole right through modern society’s illusions of any shared comfort zone. I loved the headlong rush, the imperiled tenderness.”
-Kathleen Winter, author of Annabel
From the award-winning author of The Mistress of Nothing comes a compelling novel that explores the complex texture of the nuclear family and the tenuous, often unexpected ties that bind us together.
Spring 2010. Harriet works in local radio in London, England. When a volcano explodes in Iceland and airspace shuts down over Europe, stranding most of her colleagues abroad, she seizes the opportunity to take on a larger role at the station. Her husband Michael, stuck in New York, travels to Toronto to stay with an old flame. Their teenage son Jack, liberated from normal life by the absence of airplanes, takes an unexpected risk and finds himself in trouble. Meanwhile, a Pakistani migrant worker named Yacub is stranded in a labor camp in Dubai, and Emily, a young TV researcher, loses her father to a sudden heart attack.
Two years later, their lives intersect dramatically when Yacub, a stowaway, falls out of the landing gear of an airplane and onto Harriet’s car in a supermarket parking lot. Yacub’s sudden arrival in the lives of Harriet, Jack, Michael, and Emily catapults these characters into a series of life-changing events, ultimately drawing them closer to one another.
Winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for her debut American novel, which Good Housekeeping called “scorchingly powerful,” Kate Pullinger draws on real-life accounts of airplane stowaways as the basis for a highly imaginative story of colliding worlds and extraordinary connections.
“Strap yourself in and get in a comfortable position. Once you start Landing Gear, you won’t be able to put it down. Pullinger takes you on turbulent and exhilarating ride through modern family relationships, our cultural divide and the unexpected things that come crashing into our lives.”
-Brian Francis, author of Natural Order
“Landing Gear is a wonderful novel, a novel of secrets—it is a novel of many other things besides, but this is what held me to the narrative: secrets, each carefully and cleverly revealed, all abetting a propulsive storyline that offers up startling revelations to the very end. This is the work of a writer at the top of her game, and I absolutely loved it.”
-Craig Davidson, author of Cataract City
“Kate Pullinger’s exquisite writing draws us into a world in which characters negotiate between the probable and the all-but-impossible. ‘How can they survive this?’ we ask ourselves, and then it hits us: we all do.”
-Wayne Grady, author of Emancipation Day
“A volcano, an airplane, an immediate, long-ago fall. From an extraordinary premise – the disconnections of our airborne world – Kate Pullinger weaves together fragments of four lives, unfolding in disparate corners of the world, lives that intersect finally in small-town England. A portrait of a modern nuclear family – explosive, searing, and the basic unit of life – Landing Gear is truly a novel for our brave new world.”
-Merilyn Simonds, author of A New Leaf
“[S]harp and precise prose… A fitting follow-up to its award-winning predecessor, Landing Gear is a beautiful and profound story about finding love, peace, and meaning in a too-busy world.”
–Quill & Quire (starred review)
“Pullinger employs a luminous style in this affecting portrait of loneliness and communion.”
“Her narrative is buoyant and engaging, her tale beautifully crafted.”
Doubleday, Canada, Spring 2014
Touchstone, US, Spring 2014
Longlisted for CBC Canada Reads 2016
NATIONAL BESTSELLER (Canada)