The Longest Night: A Personal History of Pan Am 103

Helen Engelhardt

Helen Engelhardt is delighted to announce that her memoir, The Longest Night: A Personal History of Pan Am 103, has been published by Blue Thread Communications, an imprint of Jewish Currents magazine.

Nearly 25 years ago, in an act of terrorism that stunned the world, Pan Am 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. The Longest Night begins with the author receiving the nightmarish news that her husband, Tony Hawkins, was one of those 270, and wondering how she will tell Alan, their six-year-old son.

“Helen Engelhardt takes readers on an intimate, year long journey of grief, outrage and loving remembrance, against a backdrop of international politics, media frenzy and courtroom negotiations. To keep Tony present for both herself and Alan, Engelhardt mixes memories, documents, recordings, and headlines in a narrative that is, at once, deeply personal and profoundly universal.”

The narrative describes the first year after Tony’s death, as she and Alan learn how to live without him and begin to participate in the newly formed lobbying and emotional support group, the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103. Counterpointed against the 12 months of 1989, are the first seven and final five months of her 16-year marriage.

The memoir also includes a statement about what the group has achieved and the challenges which remain, a timeline and a bibliography.

In 2009, Engelhardt produced an audiobook version of The Longest Night, excerpted from the full memoir. The audiobook became a finalist for an Audie award in the “Best Original” category in 2010.

“An eye and heart witness account of a harrowing moment in our collective history.” –Barbara Lazear Ascher, author.

“Memoir meets documentary and the result is powerful…full of insights on love and grief.” –Professor Charles Potter, New York University/award-winning audio book producer.

The Longest Night is available through Engelhardt’s website, in either the paperback or hardcover editions.