Sisters of Heaven author to share story of China’s wartime aviatrixes

Author Patti Gully’s book Sisters of Heaven. -
Author Patti Gully’s book Sisters of Heaven.
— image credit:

Author Patti Gully will tell the true-life story of three Chinese women who became wartime pilots in a free presentation at Richmond Public Library on Nov. 21.

In 1939, as the world slid toward a Second World War, China had already fallen under attack and faced the spectre of national enslavement. Three wealthy, educated and vivacious Chinese women stepped forward.

At a time when many women’s feet were bound, these three women were air pilots. To aid China’s millions of orphans and wounded, they devised a scheme: to use airplane theatrics in the Americas to win friends and funds for China.

“Their story was one of triumph and tragedy, and one with an indelible Vancouver connection,” said Wendy Jang, Richmond’s librarian of Chinese services.

Gully is an amateur pilot and author of Sisters of Heaven, China’s Barnstorming Aviatrixes: Modernity, Feminism, and Popular Imagination in Asia and the West. Gully has also written a biography of Chinese American aviator Art Lym and co-authored a book on Chinese immigrants and aviation in China.

The presentation is from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the library’s Brighouse branch, 7700 Minoru Gate. Attendees are asked to register for the free presentation (No. 819) at any library branch, online or call 604-231-6413.

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