Captain Chesley Sullenberger was thrust into the media spotlight in January, when he landed his stricken Airbus in the Hudson River and the aircrew evacuated all passengers, largely uninjured, to safety within minutes. A remarkable piece of airmanship by the entire crew, to be sure. But since then, we've seen Sully receive the keys to the city of New York, be named an honorary member of the Seaplane Pilots Association and a featured guest at the annual Oshkosh, Wisconsin fly-in, throw out the first pitch of the major-league baseball 2009 season, and testify before Congress. We've seen him on "60 Minutes," on "the Today Show," and at the Obama inauguration. And there's always Facebook.
Now comes word that three books about/by Sullenberger will be available to the clamoring public before the end of the year. Rumor is that HarperCollins, a William Morrow imprint, offered $3 million to Sully for a book about "a narrative of his life and the key moments that prepared him" for the ditching, and for a "collection of Sully's inspirational poems." And Farrar, Straus & Giroux has signed up William Langewiesche, currently writing for Vanity Fair, to write "Fly By Wire: The Truth About the Miracle on the Hudson." The book's editor, Jonathan Galassi, says, "I'm hoping we can do books in four months, because today, readers' interest is intense and immediate—and sometimes it dissipates."
Especially when it comes to inspirational poems.