Remembering The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky

Because Lockerbie and Pan Am Flight 103 have been back in the news lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about a book I read more than three years ago: Ken Dornstein’s The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky. The author’s older brother, David Dornstein, was aboard that doomed flight, and in the book, Ken Dornstein writes about his brother’s life–and about his brother’s death.

As I wrote back when the book was published, reading The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky held special meaning for me, because not too many years earlier, one of my stories won first prize in the literary competition that bore David’s name: the David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Contest. The competition sought stories specifically on Jewish themes, and was open to writers 35 years of age or younger.

With the demise the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), which administered the award, the competition seems to have disappeared. I hope that it will return one day. Meantime, it is difficult to think of a better literary tribute to David Dornstein than his brother’s book.