Catherine Lowell received her BA in English from Stanford University, and currently lives in New York City. The Madwoman Upstairs is her first novel.
Suburban housewife Harriet spends her days doing what she’s worst at. Formerly a local radio host, now she grocery shops for her family who has too much to eat, parents a son who refuses to communicate with her, and tries to be a wife to a man who hasn’t embraced her in years. But what starts out as a mundane trip to the supermarket turns her world upside down when a mysterious man named Yacub falls out of the sky from the landing gear of an airplane and lands on her car in the parking lot—and survives. He’s starving and he’s freezing cold. What can she do but bring him home to her family?
Suddenly her son has stepped away from the video games and her husband is looking at her once again—even if it’s because they think she’s crazy for taking in a complete stranger stinking of petrol. And who is Yacub, this young man who escaped from a Dubai labor camp and stowed away in the belly of the plane to travel around the world? And is it a coincidence that he’s dropped into Harriet’s life just at the moment when a long-buried secret from her past threatens to come to light?
Inspired by real-life accounts of airplane stowaways, Landing Gear is a highly imaginative story of colliding worlds and extraordinary connections in an age where we may have the world at the touch of a screen, but might need some help seeing what’s right in front of us.
PRAISE FOR LANDING GEAR:
"An extraordinary idea, brilliantly executed" Viv Groskop, Red Magazine
“Landing Gear is a beautiful and profound story about finding love, peace and meaning in a too-busy world.” Quill and Quire (starred review)
"Pullinger's empathy for the characters makes them hugely likable, even the truculent streak of adolescence that is Jack" Alfred Hickling, Guardian
"A portrait of a modern nuclear family - explosive, searing - Landing Gear is truly a novel for our brave new world" Merilyn Simonds, author of Convict Lover
"A wonderful novel, a novel of secrets - each carefully and cleverly revealed, all abetting a propulsive storyline that offers up starting 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
"Innovative, enthralling, kinetic and often subversively funny. Alongside Landing Gear's stowaway, Yacub, we freefall 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
"A 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
"Pulliinger's exquisite writing draws us into a world in which character 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
Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back...
Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.
Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.