Jay Bonansinga - The Sinking of the Eastland
The Sinking of the Eastland
Author: Jay Bonansinga
Publisher: Citadel Press/Kensington Books
In his new book, The Sinking of the Eastland: America's Forgotten Tragedy, award-winning thriller writer and bestselling author Jay Bonansinga tells the whole riveting story of Chicago's worst tragedy, which nearly ninety years later still ranks as one of America's most devastating disasters, in which 844 men, women and children were crushed and drowned in the space of ten minutes. The result is a historical thriller that dramatically re-lives the fates of the tragedy's victims, survivors, heroes and villains, while masterfully detailing a unique, haunting period in American history. Using eyewitness narratives, rare archival materials, and touching first-hand accounts from those who escaped with their lives, with the help of Ted Wachholz and the Eastland Disaster Historical Society, Bonansinga weaves the hopes and dreams of immigrant, blue collar Americans into a tragic tale of lives lost in the cogs of industry. Bringing to life all the sights and sounds of 1915 Chicago, Bonansinga recounts minute by minute the extraordinary events of that fateful day, when Western Electric factory workers prepared for the company picnic and boarded the ill-fated steamship, mixing excitement and wonder with a premonition of doom as the ship began to list and the last minutes of 844 lives ticked away. Readers will meet the master of the Eastland, Captain Harry Pederson, whose behavior before, during, and after the accident would be scrutinized for years to come; the Eastland's crew, some of whom became helpless victims of the wreck; both lucky and unlucky survivors, including a thirteen-year-old girl faced with the fight of her life; and a young mechanic who became one of the day's unsung heroes.Through their riveting stories, Bonansinga takes us back to the scene of the tragedy and explores the aftershocks, the global impact, and the haunted waters and buildings of the Eastland catastrophe. At once chilling and poignant, The Sinking of the Eastland honors the fogotten victims of this tragedy, while bringing to life a major turning point--the eve of World War I--in our nation's history. The Sinking of the Eastland is Jay Bonansinga's eighth published book, his first 'non-fiction novel.'
Author Information: Jay Bonansinga is the award-winning author of seven novels. The Chicago Tribune has called him 'one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers.' Several of his titles are currently in development as major Hollywood movies, and his work has been translated into eleven languages. A longtime resident of the Chicago area, he researched the story of the Eastland with the full support and cooperation of the Eastland Disaster Historical Society. He is a visiting professor at Northwestern University and lives with his wife and two sons in Evanston, Illinois. In The Sinking of the Eastland: America's Forgotten Tragedy, Jay Bonansinga applies his storytelling gifts to his first work of non-fiction, resulting in what could be called a 'historical thriller.'
- Buy The Sinking of the Eastland at The Eastland Disaster Historical Society (www.eastlanddisaster.org) and support the memory of this--one of our nation's worst--tragedy.