Richard David Bach was born June 23, 1936, Oak Park, Illinois. He is an American writer. He is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions, The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah and others.His books espouse his philosophy that our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance. He claims to be a direct descendant of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is noted for his love of flying and for his books related to air flight and flying in a metaphorical context. He has pursued flying as a hobby since the age of 17.
summary of jonathan livingston seagull by richard bach
The novel tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food and seized by a passion for flight. He pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life.
One day, Jonathan is met by two gulls who take him to a "higher plane of existence" (reminiscent of the beliefs of Chinese, in that there is no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge), where he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him "a gull in a million". Jonathan befriends the wisest gull in this new place, named Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to "begin by knowing that you have already arrived".
Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, one of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to continue his learning.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Bach espouses a consistent philosophy in his books: Our true nature is not bound by space or time, we are expressions of the Is, we are not truly born nor truly die, and we enter this world of Seems and Appearances for fun, learning, to share experiences with those we care for, to explore—and most of all to learn how to love and love again.
Bach had six children with his first wife, Bette. Bette typed and edited most of Richard's aviation writings. They divorced in 1970, because Richard didn't believe in marriage. Bette Bach Fineman, who remarried, is also a pilot, and the author of Patterns, about her life as a pilot and single mother. His son, Jonathan, is a journalist, who wrote a book about growing up without knowing his father, Richard; and then later meeting him as a college student. (Richard gave his approval; although he noted that it included some personal history he'd "rather not see in print"). Other children are Robert, a commercial airline pilot; Kristel; James, a computer expert and writer; and Erika. His youngest daughter, Bethany, was killed in an accident at the age of fifteen in 1985.
In 1977 Bach married actress Leslie Parrish whom he met during the making of the Jonathan Livingston Seagull movie. She was a major element in two of his subsequent books—The Bridge Across Forever and One—which primarily focused on their relationship and Bach's concept of soulmates. They divorced in 1999. Bach was married to his third wife, Sabryna Nelson-Alexopoulos in April 1999.
A little-known fact is that Richard Bach, a fan of the original Star Trek television series, also wrote a script for the unproduced Star Trek Phase II television series that was to be produced in the mid-1970s. It was entitled "Practice in Waking" (Episode 4). According to Harold Livingston, producer of the Phase II project, his script was one of the most popular story ideas among the Star Trek Phase II crew. They felt that Richard Bach would add a certain amount of class to the series and pave the way for new directions
Richard Bach Books
Stranger to the Ground (1963) Dell reprint (1990),
Biplane (1966) Dell Reprint (1990),
Nothing by Chance (1969) Dell Reprint 1990,
Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970)
A Gift of Wings (1974) Dell Reissue (1989)
There's No Such Place As Far Away (1976) Delta (1998)
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah (1977)
The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story (1984) Dell Reissue (1989),
One (1988) Dell Reissue 1989,
Running from Safety (1995)
Out of My Mind (2000)
The Ferret Chronicles (five novellas):
Air Ferrets Aloft (2002)
Rescue Ferrets at Sea (2002)
Writer Ferrets: Chasing the Muse (2002)
Rancher Ferrets on the Range (2003)
The Last War: Detective Ferrets and the Case of the Golden Deed (2003)
Curious Lives: Adventures from the Ferret Chronicles (2005)
The book Curious Lives is in fact the above five Ferret Chronicles books collected in one volume, the only changes being changes to the titles of each of the five.
Flying: The Aviation Trilogy (2003)
Stranger to the Ground
Nothing by Chance
Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul (2004)